Overgate in Dundee is keeping the Christmas spirit alive this year with a heartwarming initiative to connect local children with new friends in twin city Alexandria in the USA.
Overgate Air Mail has seen 76 pupils aged between six and twelve years old from Ancrum Road Primary School in Dundee write a letter of festive cheer to new pen pals at Charles Barrett Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia. The campaign is part of Overgate’s DUNDEE’S 7 CITIES initiative which aims to strengthen ties between Dundee and its twin cities across the world.
The pupils from Ancrum Road Primary, guided by teacher Kayleigh Anderson, have been busy writing their letters and documenting their experiences of the last twelve months to share with their new American pen pals, along with how each plan to celebrate Christmas this year.
The recurring themes throughout many of the letters demonstrate that no matter if in Scotland or the USA, children share the same dreams for Christmas (mainly presents from Santa!) and have been faced with similar challenges throughout lockdown (annoying siblings, the Scottish cold weather and remembering to socially distance) but remain optimistic for a brighter 2021.
The letters have been collected by Overgate’s Christmas elves who, by the magic of Overgate Air Mail, are ensuring safe delivery to Charles Barret School in Alexandria. Once the pupils in Alexandria return their own letters to their new Dundee pen pals, a display of the letters that is sure to bring much festive cheer will be created in Overgate for all to enjoy. To complete the campaign, three local winners from Ancrum Road Primary will be selected at random to each win a £30 Overgate gift card.
Elsewhere, in keeping with the season of goodwill, the annual Help for Kids Christmas Toy Appeal has now been launched with drop off points across the centre including Overgate’s Customer Service Desk, Toytown, New Look, and Frankie & Benny’s, as well as at a 12ft Giving Tree on the upper level opposite Debenhams. Last year, thanks to the generosity of the public over £10,000 worth of gifts were collected and distributed by the Social Work Department on behalf of the charity.
A number of popular brands will be bringing pop-up shops, perfect for Christmas stocking fillers, to Overgate across December including Dundee Gin (until 23rd), Dundee United Football Club (until 23rd), Click Heat (until 24th) and Gifts of Winter (until 3rd January).
What’s more, Late Night Christmas Shopping Nights will see retailers open until 7pm every Thursday leading up to the 25th and many mid-week days too, as well as extended hours on Sunday the 20th for the final countdown. Please check the Overgate website for details.
Speaking about this year’s Christmas plans, Metta Ramsay, Retail Marketing Manager, Overgate said;
“Overgate Air Mail is keeping the Christmas spirit alive and the centre is delighted to be helping to forge new friendships across the miles this Christmas with children at home and in Alexandria. The pen pal letters soon to be displayed in the centre are sure to make heartwarming reading and we extend special thanks to the pupils and teachers at Ancrum Road Primary in Dundee.
“Christmas this year is taking on extra importance for many people and Overgate, as the first-choice, one-stop destination for Christmas shopping, is focussed on ensuring memorable visits for our customers.
“Nothing compares to the atmosphere in the centre across the festive period or the pleasure of discovering the perfect presents for loved ones. Our retailers and exclusive pop-up shops have fantastic gifts ready to be explored and we are pulling out the stops to guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone to Overgate as we countdown to Christmas.”
The Overgate Centre, Dundee is owned and managed by Land Securities, the largest commercial property company in the UK.