Luton Mall celebrates golden anniversary of community support
It’s 50 years since The Mall opened its doors and during that time the shopping centre has gained a reputation as a champion of local causes.
Over the past year more than £10,000 has been donated to local charities and organisations, with staff contributing more than 600 hours of volunteering.
A total of 50 charities were supported, 11 of these through the Community Chest.
The Mall’s two charities of the year were Luton Foodbank and Level Trust, which both supported an initiative to collect Christmas presents for those in need for Luton Smiles.
Luton Foodbank spokesperson Salma Khan said: “We’ve been supporting families and individuals in the town for nearly 10 years. The Mall have set up a donation point for us, volunteered in the warehouse on a weekly basis and set up fundraising events for us. They’ve been fantastic and we’d like to thank them for having us as their charity partner.”
Pride in Luton co-chair Kelsie Holdstock commented: “The Mall is one of our Pride sponsors and we couldn’t do it without them.”
Six new episodes of the centre’s popular podcast were also released, shining a light on the community and included the art installation Our River, International Women’s Day, Discover Islam during the month of Ramadan, NOAH Enterprise, The Hygiene Bank and Pride in Luton.
A plethora of free family events took place in the summer, plus a writing competition for children. Best-selling children’s author Chris Smith was on the panel of judges who named the winners as Zanaib Shahid of Waulud Primary School and Eden Williams of Wenlock C of E School. They won £250 for their school and £125 for themselves.
The Mall also marked key calendar events such as Black History Month, Eid, Chinese New Year and Diwali. A free Giving Grotto also took place throughout the festive season, providing all families with the opportunity to meet Father Christmas, regardless of their budget.
Sustainability has continued to be a focus, from offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions from the website by planting trees to producing honey from the beehives installed on the roof. Sales of the honey then went to Luton Foodbank, raising £1,050.
General manager Roy Greenings said: “We are extremely proud and grateful to everyone who has been involved.”