This December, Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester opened its doors to local charities granting them a space to showcase their work and connect with members of the public during the holiday season. This opportunity offered by the shopping centre gave the two charities a chance to reach a wider audience and shoppers were able foster connections with those in need over the season where giving and compassion are paramount.
Two Leicester based charities, Leicester Hospitals Charity and Living Without Abuse, were allocated pop-up experiences in the shopping centre during November and December 2023. Highcross wanted to give each cause ample chance to promote their good work when footfall in the centre is at its highest in order to reach the maximum number of people.
Living Without Abuse occupied a space in the shopping centre from 25th November-10th December to tie in with the International 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence campaign. Art, poetry and sculptures were available for viewing from those living with or experiencing domestic violence alongside artists and organisations from the city and surrounding areas. The pop-up experience provided a space for customers to view and connect with the artwork and speak to the charity staff in a safe environment. Emily Corrigan, Head of Fundraising at LWA, said, “We wanted our pop-up to have a wide ranging impact and benefit a range of people through the healing and therapeutic impact of the arts. From domestic abuse survivors and their families, friends and colleagues, practitioners and staff in support organisations, plus the wider general public, it was great to see so many people increase their understanding of domestic abuse and sexual violence. We’re really grateful to Highcross for giving us this opportunity.”
Leicester Hospitals Charity pop-up ran until 22nd December and coincided with the 75th anniversary of the NHS. The charity used the space to show how visitors can take action to support the city’s three hospitals and to showcase real life stories of how the charity and the city’s hospitals have transformed patients’ lives during challenging times. Sunita Patel, Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising at Leicester Hospitals Charity, said, “This partnership not only celebrates the 75th birthday of the NHS but also presents a unique, tangible opportunity for the community to actively engage and make a difference to the lives of patients, staff and their families.”
Jo Tallack, General Manager of Highcross Shopping Centre, said of the collaborations, “The festive period brings many people to Highcross, so we wanted to give some of our local charities the opportunity to connect with the community and demonstrate the fantastic work they do in the city and wide county. These spaces give the charities the chance to make a real visual impact on visitors in a way they might not normally be able to. It’s been inspiring to see how they have told the stories of the people they help and wonderful to see people taking part in fundraising activities to deepen their connections with such vital causes.” These spaces have given the centre and the Leicester community an opportunity to use available retail space to help support causes close to the hearts of the local community and to raise awareness. Highcross Shopping Centre aims to support these and many more charities over the year ahead providing a platform for them to make changes to the lives of many.
It’s touching to see community collaboration and local retail and charities coming together to foster a greater good in a city that’s close to our heart. In a landscape often driven solely by profits, we would like to celebrate Highcross’s commitment to providing platforms for local charities to shine and bring their message forward to a wider audience. These charitable pop ups embodied the true spirit of Christmas, where in giving we receive the best gift of all – unity, hope and compassion for our fellow man.