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Liverpool hotel is having a Christmas market where everything’s free to help struggling families

1 year ago

Liverpool hotel is having a Christmas market where everything’s free to help struggling families

The Sandon hotel in Anfield is holding a community Christmas market where everything is free to help families struggling in the cost-of-living crisis.

Owner of The Sandon Kate Stewart has collected donations of toys and clothes so parents who need some help can get it without having to ask.

They can just go along to the market this Saturday and stalls will be laid out for boys and girls in various ages.

“People who are struggling for money can come along and feel like they’ve been shopping but there’s no money needed, the currency is kindness,” says Kate.

“They’ll be able to pick an outfit for their child, and a toy for the child to take away on the day. 

“Father Christmas will be at The Sandon too giving everyone a selection box courtesy of the Liverpool dockers, there’ll be free hot chocolate for the kids, a DJ and a kids’ entertainer so it’s a proper Christmas market but without any money being exchanged. It’s just a day of community spirit.”

The Sandon
Kate Stewart

Kate says she’s had a fantastic response since she started planning the event.

“We’ve had people donate from across the city, some great brands have got involved, and the Liverpool dockers have been really good supporting us.

“StedyChefs in Walton have dropped off hampers, and it’s just been really nice seeing everyone coming together. We’ve had lots of people volunteering to come down and help on the day at the market to distribute everything. 

“When people come in they can tell us how many children they’ve got and what age they are and every stall will be for a gender and an age. They can go to the stall and pick whatever they want and that’s it, they just give their voucher in exchange.

“We’ve got some amazing stuff to give away, including electric bikes and scooters, and the whole city is welcome, not just people from the Anfield area. Anyone who needs it can come and help themselves and it’ll be a fun day.”

Kate came up with the idea of the community Christmas market after seeing how worried families were as the cost of everything has shot up.

“We’ve been opening up the Sandon’s Acorn Suite every Tuesday and Thursday and every week I feed between 90 and 120 people. It’s for adults and children so full families come in, they eat with us then I usually give them stuff to take home, I have a bouncy castle up and loads of games for the kids, so they can come here, have a meal, the kids are entertained and it’s lovely and warm. They go home about 8pm and put the kids to bed, so it’s taken two nights of worry away.

“I see people coming in and how hard they’re finding it, and that was what made me think of having the Christmas market. These parents are panicking because they haven’t got pyjamas for the children so I’ve bought 150 pairs of pyjamas and I’ve been asking people to donate as well so no child goes to bed on Christmas eve without a new pair of pyjamas on.”

Kate hopes other businesspeople in Liverpool will see what’s being done in and around Anfield and do something similar.

“There are so many successful entrepreneurs in this city and we’ve all got the ability to help each other,” she says. “If everyone does a bit then we can come together and make it a better place. 

“I just want to let people know that this is there and there’s no judgement because struggling financially can happen to absolutely any one of us.  I’ve been in that position myself, I’ve been up and been down, we all need a helping hand at some time and that’s what we’re there for. 

“If we work together and an entrepreneur from each district does something we can make a difference collectively. If we each help a few hundred then there’s going to be thousands of people better off this Christmas and this winter.”

The community Christmas market is at the Sandon complex this Saturday, December 17, from 12noon.

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