Thanks to the incredible community spirit shown by the event sponsors and supporters, the event raised a fantastic £18,000 for our ChildLine Schools Service. The service delivers age-appropriate workshops and assemblies to 9-11 year olds, helping them to understand abuse, how to protect themselves and where to get help if they need it.
John Lewis was this year's main sponsor with Managing Director, Andy Street, attending the launch. Accompanying Andy to the event was Mabel, the loveable partner of Monty the Penguin. Mabel had such a fun time that Andy decided to leave her in the safe hands of the NSPCC's Midlands fundraising team, who plan to auction her off to a loving home soon.
"Here at John Lewis we know that whilst Christmas is a special time for most of us, it is sadly not a happy time for every child. By supporting the NSPCC Festival of Trees, we were helping to make a difference to the most vulnerable local children."
Head of Branch, John Lewis Birmingham
Another generous sponsor of this year's event was Hallfield School, a local preparatory school for children aged between 3 months and 11 years. Roger Outwin-Flinders, Headmaster at the school, said:
"Hallfield School were delighted to support the NSPCC Festival of Trees this year at the ICC. It was a wonderful idea and a lovely occasion which I hope gave a lot of pleasure to visitors of the centre during the festive period. As a School, we were very keen to support the event and especially the Charity which does so much to help and support so many children.
"Each child has their own story to tell, and if we have been able to make a difference, then it will have been worthwhile. We look forward to sponsoring a tree next year."
This year, standing proudly amongst the trees on display was one that sparkled with decorations made by children and young people from the NSPCC West Midlands participation group.
The group also had the very important job of judging the highly anticipated award for the most beautifully decorated tree. They chose to honour this award to John Lewis, although we think Monty and Mabel may have swung it.
"We are really pleased to have supported the NSPCC Festival of Trees again. It not only raises money and awareness for a worthy cause but also gives the Mall a really festive feel for all of our clients, visitors and the public passing through. I for one will miss the trees now that they are gone and hope to see them return later this year."
Venue Services Manager, ICC
Speaking on the festival's success, Jenny Sedgwick, NSPCC Fundraising Manager said:
"We're overwhelmed at the amount this year's NSPCC Festival of Trees has raised. It is thanks to the generosity of people in the local community that we have been able to raise this fantastic amount of money which will be used by the NSPCC to help prevent child cruelty across Birmingham.
"I would like to say thank you to all the businesses and organisations who supported the event, including the Forestry Commission who donated the fantastic trees to us, and to the people of Birmingham who generously donated whilst visiting the ICC."