Tudor Park’s Giving Tree brings hope for homeless
The spirit of Christmas is alive and well at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Bearsted which ‘planted’ a Giving Tree to raise vital equipment for the homeless of Maidstone.
For the past month, staff, hotel guests and members of its leisure club have taken tags from the tree and in return bought essential items such as sleeping bags, torches, thermal underwear, flasks, socks, lip salve and rain coats to fill 20 rucksacks donated by the local Mountain Warehouse store. The life-saving equipment was handed to representatives from the Maidstone Day Centre on Friday, Dec 15, and will be used to help rough sleepers over the Christmas period.
The inspiration behind the Tudor Park Marriott Giving Tree is Tina Medcraft, membership coordinator of the hotel’s leisure club, who has taken her own three children to donate gifts to the Giving Tree at Bluewater shopping centre for the past few years.
“I wanted my children to realise Christmas isn’t all about having presents and this year I thought I’d try a Giving Tree here in our hotel so that we can help people within our local community,” she said. “The response has been amazing, and we have managed to fill all of the rucksacks.”
Established 30 years ago, Maidstone Day Centre currently supports nearly 100 homeless people a month, ranging from 18 to 70 years old, and provides emergency food parcels for families and individuals in crisis.
Centre manager, Zofia Grzymala, said: “A big thank you to the people at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club. It’s so important for local businesses to support local charities like us so that we can help the vulnerable and homeless. These rucksacks of equipment are much needed and very much appreciated.”