Families celebrate Christmas early with a White Stuff shop window takeover

Shoppers in Guildford were treated to an early display of Christmas when White Stuff handed over its shop window to children supported by local charity Home-Start Guildford.

The children, who were given chalks, paints and stencils, created their own winter wonderland on the High Street store, drawing a lot of attention from passers-by.

As well as bringing the spirit of Christmas to Guildford, the sparkly display launches the retailer’s festive charity tea towels, which are raising money for Home-Start.

Lorraine Macdonald, senior coordinator of Home-Start Guildford, said: “It was wonderful to see some of the families we support getting into the Christmas spirit early by helping with the window display.”

The design for the charity tea towels was inspired by a children’s word art competition, run by Home-Start UK alongside White Stuff, and asked children to share the words that make them think of Christmas. The result was a festive list of phrases including sparkles, reindeers, mince pies and love.

Lorraine added: “The pandemic has been a tough time for everyone. This year is going to be a huge deal for many people, especially for the families that couldn’t get together last year. Our service is more important than ever, so we are extremely grateful to White Stuff for supporting our work.”

The tea towel design uses a collage of Christmas words and are for sale in White Stuff stores or online, with 100% of profits going to Home-Start, a charity that helps families with young children through their challenging times.

The tea towels provide a lovely reminder to view Christmas through the eye of a child. Jasper Wright, 7, of Wokingham, who was one of the children who submitted words to go on the tea towel said: “I’m so excited to see my words on a tea towel. It took me ages to do.”

Another child wrote: “It makes me happy because there’s sparkly lights and they make my tummy feel sparkly inside too.”

Another: “I like singing jingle bells really loud.”

White Stuff’s CEO, Jo Jenkins, said: “White Stuff is extremely proud to support Home-Start UK’s amazing work year-round, and especially over the festive period, which we know can be a really challenging time for many families. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the children who had a lot of fun getting creative and decorating our shop window in Guildford, and those who helped design our new chari-tea towel. We’re sure the design will be a hit with customers over Christmas, helping to give a little extra back to Home-Start UK through product donations.”

The children’s winter wonderland window is expected to remain in place at Guildford’s High Street store for a week, and is one of a number of events thanks to a partnership between White Stuff and Home-Start.

Home-Start supports families with young children on a range of issues including bereavement, postnatal depression, loneliness, coping with twins and children or parents with disabilities. With more than 185 Home-Starts across the UK, the charity was launched in 1973. Locally, Home-Start Guildford has been helping families in the Guildford area since 1997.

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