Last year was the first-time donations have been collected on the Christmas Markets. With 25% profit from card sales also going to Big Change, the total raised comes to £4,592.60
£4,000.53 in Christmas Market visitor donations has been collected by a 50-strong team of volunteers. The team has been collecting at weekends for the last four weeks and the response from the public has been “inspirational”.
Even a trader on King Street, Cornelia Friedl, the owner of the French Café “Le Petit Bistrot”, was endearingly kind. Cornelia donated the stall’s £314 float into the Big Change collection.
The Manchester Santa Christmas Card in the shops at Central Library and Manchester Art Gallery contributed some funds too. This card sold 299 packs and raised £278.07 for the fund.
The Christmas card was inspired by the hugely popular animation that shows Manchester’s hapless Santa struggling on the ice rink. His rescuers are two skate savvy children who, with Rudolph and other friends, engrave the Manchester Bee into the ice.
The Big Change campaign is a central fund for more than 25 charities. It helps hundreds of people move their lives forwards and begin to build an independent life away from the streets.
The fund has already collected £120,000 in donations and supported 704 people through grants. Donations can also be made online at www.bigchangemcr.co.uk.
Eleanor Watts, Chair of the Big Change Fund, said: “We can’t thank Manchester – and visitors to the city – enough for their generosity.
“A huge thank you must also go out to the volunteers who have given their time to collect donations and give something back to the city this festive season.”
Cllr Bernard Priest, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Homelessness is an issue we all care deeply about.
“Our enormous gratitude goes out to everyone who gave money and it will all be spent on rebuilding lives and ending homelessness.”