Mother of daughter who died from, cancer earlier this year urges Stretford Mall shoppers to visit winter wonderland

Messenger Newspapers: Val Kilgour is pictured at the wishing well in Stretford Mall’s winter wonderland and Santa’s grotto Val Kilgour is pictured at the wishing well in Stretford Mall’s winter wonderland and Santa’s grotto

A MOTHER is urging families to visit Santa at his grotto and winter wonderland in Stretford Mall and help raise money for the children’s hospice which cared for her daughter.

In the magical, snowy scenes surrounding Stretford Mall’s Santa’s grotto is a wishing well into which shoppers are being encouraged to throw coins for Francis House Children’s Hospice.

Val Kilgour took a trip to see the winter wonderland for herself and voiced her support for the wishing well collection in aid of the hospice which she describes as a ‘house of angels’ and cared for her daughter Charlene until she died aged 27 earlier this year.

Charlene was born with a rare and serious condition called congenital olivio cerebellar atrophy which meant she was wheelchair bound and totally dependent on mum Val and dad Paul because she couldn’t do anything for herself.

Although Charlene lived with her parents at home in a specially adapted room, she received regular respite care at the Disbury based Francis House from the age of 12.

Val, who lives in Newton Heath, said:  “As soon as you step through the door of Francis House it’s just like going into a family. It’s a wonderfully peaceful and happy place and they’d walk a hundred miles to do something for you,” she said.

“I love the place so much that I call it my ‘angel house’ because it seems to be full of the feeling of angels and angels work there.

Excited children, parents and grandparents have already been turning out in force to visit the grotto and hand over their wish lists to the great man himself.

He is in residence at the grotto every Thursday through to Sunday in the run up to Christmas from 10am to 5pm and also December 23 from 10am to 5pm and December 24 from 10am to 4pm.


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