HAMPSHIRE people and charities are celebrating after winning ‘random of acts of kindness’ in a unique month-long event celebrating The Marlands Shopping Centre’s 25th anniversary.

The mayor of Southampton, Councillor Cathie McEwing, attended the awards ceremony as guest of honour.

She joined the crowds enjoying Champagne and birthday cake while awaiting the opening of special silver envelopes containing a host of prizes from Marlands retailers.

Winners were nominated by friends and family to receive a well-deserved ‘act of kindness’.

Five nominated charities also received surprise windfall ‘kindness plus packages’ of support worth hundreds of pounds each from The Marlands and their trusted professional suppliers, ranging from marketing, landscaping and building work, to cleaning and decorating.

The grand final prize of a £250 shopping spree at The Marlands went to Lesley Travis, who had nominated one of the winning charities, Canine Partners.

General manager of The Marlands, Tim Keeping, said: “This whole month of celebrations has been a wonderful way to mark our milestone anniversary by sharing it with as many people as possible in Southampton.

“We have been overwhelmed by the number of good wishes received from the local community and I would like to thank all our retailers who donated amazing prizes and the local firms who will be helping these very worthy local charities.”

It is the latest charity initiative from The Marlands which was one of just 60 shopping centres across the UK taking part in this year’s ‘One Great Day’, to raise money for Great Ormond Street and local children’s charities.

The Marlands has also been a sponsor of Marwell Wildlife’s Zany Zebras charity and art project, running fun events in its special Zany Zebra Zone.

To mark the Centre’s 25th anniversary, its own zebra was named ‘Silver’ by the winner of a shopper competition, displayed alongside many Southampton schools’ zebra sculptures throughout the summer.

The prize-winners were: Cloe Judge, Charmain Wilson, Emma Brewer, Tony Cador, Lizzi Lewis, Mary Wood, Jo Byrne, Kerry Snuggs, Abby Mullins, Malcolm Mould, Dawn Luker, Tracy Cutler, Tony Gailor, Ali Noyce, Matt Bond, Charlee Bradbury, Dominica King, Kim Snook and Graham Kidd

The following won a prize for nominating a charity: Victoria Randall, Lilly Ridett, Sally Tyrell, and Leah Jones

The five charities who topped the nominations to win ‘kindness plus packages’ in support of their work in the community community:

  • Society of St James – the Hampshire-based homelessness charity, providing accommodation and support to over 2500 people each year. (Prize: Cleaning Services Package)
  • Choices Advocacy – the local charity providing independent advocacy and person-centred planning for people living in Southampton, Portsmouth and the wider Hampshire area. (Prize: Marketing Services Package)
  • Rose Road Association – the association providing a range of services for young disabled people aged 25 and under, their parents, families and carers. (Prize: Decorating Services Package)
  • Rosewood Free School – a day school for pupils aged 2-19 years with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD). The school accepts pupils from Southampton and the wider Hampshire area. (Prize: Landscaping Services Package)
  • Canine Partners – the charity providing assistance dogs to help transform the lives of people with physical disabilities, allowing partners to enjoy a greater independence and quality of life. (Prize: Building Works Package)