Families visiting the real reindeer at Garsons in December have helped to raise almost £3,000 for a local charity supporting unpaid carers in the Elmbridge area. The money raised will help Carer Support Elmbridge in continuing to offer advice and practical help to around 2,500 men and women caring for friends, relatives and neighbours with an illness or disability in the borough.
An annual highlight on the festive calendar, the reindeer at Garsons drew thousands of curious animal-lovers to the family-run garden centre between 26th November and Christmas Eve. While there was no charge to meet eight-year-old Storm and four-year-old Glacier, collection buckets at the enclosure encouraged visitors to donate their change for the charity, as well as in pots at the tills throughout 2016. In total, a sum of £2,956 was raised for Carer Support Elmbridge, enabling its three advocacy workers to continue helping unpaid carers to access the benefits and services to which they are entitled.
"We have been working with Carer Support Elmbridge in many different ways throughout 2016 to help them raise money for the vital services they provide," says Ben Thompson, director at Garsons. "The generosity of our customers this Christmas has truly surpassed all our expectations, and we are delighted to be able to share this show of support for our hardworking local carers."
Activities at Garsons to support the charity in 2016 included laying on afternoon tea in the Garsons Restaurant for a group of 30 unpaid carers from around Elmbridge to help them enjoy some well-earned time out. The relaxing afternoon coincided with Carers Week and served as a reminder of the daily challenges faced by carers in the local community and their need for support and recognition.