It was a Christmas Cracker of a weekend at Leekes of Bilston recently when the Home Superstore turned into a splendid Santa’s Grotto – complete with hardworking elves, Christmas characters and Santa’s lovable reindeer, ‘Jingle’ and ‘Belle.’
The Promise Dreams team were there to help staff and volunteers at Leekes who all entered into the spirit of the season and helped raise funds for very special children who need extra support to enjoy life. Face painting, tombola, cake stands, mince pies washed down with mulled wine and even a hog roast were all their to tempt customers into helping those less fortunate than the rest of us.
Gaynor Woolley face painting a very happy Holly Robinson aged 5, whilst Leekes Sales Assistant Jen Smart decorates the Christmas tree – beautifully!
Leekes of Bilston have been great friends of the Promise Dreams charity for a number of years and they were clearly determined to give every one a great time – even whilst serving customers to the very best any furniture and home accessories store could offer. Store Manager Tony Squires [or was it Austin Powers?] said, ‘This is a very special weekend. My staff team, regular customers of Leekes, people browsing for the first time, families, friends and the local community have all joined together to enjoy some smashing entertainment. I really must thank all my staff who have entered into the spirit of Christmas and raised lots of money for the charity we all care so much about. It’s a special event that will help some very special children.’
PC Ian Probert was born and bred in the Moxley and Bilston area and has served his community for 34 years. He enjoyed all the festive fun whilst still on duty and even posed for photographs and helped collect coins, ‘It really is a great community. Good people with big hearts. They will give their last penny to help a charity like Promise Dreams.’
Mickey and Minnie Mouse, two Snowmen, A Christmas Tree, a very Big Baby, Snow White, an Easter Bunny, a Bumble Bee, an Admiral, Austin Powers, Poppet, a dozen elves and more Christmas sweaters than you could shake a stick at. It was really a Christmas Crackers weekend!
Leekes Assistant Store Manager Samantha Woolley made sure everyone had a good time whether they were spending money or just browsing. ‘Isn’t it great what people can do when they ‘pull together?’ she said. ‘We have staff and volunteers who have given up their day off to help. They have made, hired or borrowed costumes and have really thrown themselves into the event. I have never seen them smile so much. We are raising money and having a brilliant time doing it!’
One of her colleagues said, ‘I want to help children, especially at Christmas. We have to make sure we do all we can to raise money for Promise Dreams. We can have a happy holiday free from worry but some Mums and Dads can’t. After all, it only means giving the loose change in your pocket to make a big, big difference.’ Jason Vassell, Sales assistant at Leekes
Sharon Goodwin and Alisha Gardner looking after ‘Jingle’ and ‘Belle’ whilst Mel and Jason looked after the mulled wine!
Once again, Signal 107 Radio were on hand to provide the music and master of Ceremonies Niel Jackson did us all proud – organising raffles, treasure hunts, signing autographs and interviewing a whole host of children’s cartoon characters – all for a truly great cause!
It will have taken a year of planning, dozens of hours organising people, preparing food, making costumes and making sure Santa’s reindeer weren’t double-booked! When asked why they all do it, last word goes to the Leekes main man Tony Squires, ‘We do it because we can. We have a fabulous team that has the desire to help others. Don’t get me wrong, it is really good fun doing things for others but it is hard work at the same time. I appreciate having a team that knows how to work together and push each other to higher standards – even when putting something back into the community. Each and every one of them understands what Promise Dreams stands for. That makes me very happy.’
On behalf of Promise Dreams we want to send a massive thank you to Tony Squires, Samantha Woolley and the entire team at Leekes of Bilston. Once again, you have done us proud. The effort, energy and enthusiasm of you gave was above and beyond the call of duty. You really care about others – and it shows!
Merry Christmas you guys!