Published: 10 Dec 2014

Stars from Newcastle Theatre Royal’s hit pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have teamed up with Jennings Motor Group to help promote The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, a campaign to help the most vulnerable people in the region.

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal, which is in its 35th year and the largest of its kind in the area, was set up with the aim of providing gifts to the most vulnerable people in the region who would not normally receive a gift on Christmas day.

For the past 16 consecutive years, Jennings Motor Group has supported the appeal by using its Ford, Kia, Mazda, SEAT and this year the company’s newly launched Mitsubishi dealership, as ‘drop-off’ and ‘collection’ points for gift donations.

With the appeal scheduled to come to a close on Monday 15th December, stars from this year’s show including Snow White (played by Emily Shaw) and Dame Rita (played by Chris Hayward), were pleased to help promote the appeal to the public and remind them it’s not too late to make a gift donation.  The Theatre Royal has also organised a gift donation among its staff and will be running an audience bucket collection for the Church and Charity after one of its festive performances.

Gill Bedford, divisional director for community services at The Salvation Army, said; “Our Christmas present appeal makes a big difference to hundreds of people across the region every year.  Without the support of local people this wouldn’t be possible.  We appreciate that household budgets are under more pressure than ever so we are immensely grateful for any support the local community can give this appeal.  Just one present can make a real difference – in this day and age, no-one should be forgotten at Christmas – no matter what their age.”

In addition to making a £1000 donation to the appeal, Jennings Motor Group has also been encouraging staff, customers and members of the public to make a donation of gifts for children, teenagers and the elderly.

Chris Nixon, franchise manager at Jennings Kia’s Parsons Road dealership in Washington, said; “With the appeal coming to a close, we would like to make this final appeal to encourage people to buy an extra gift this Christmas.”

As in previous years, The Salvation Army will not only be assisting Local Authority Social Services departments, but also many other professional statutory agencies who refer local families and those who are known to be in considerable hardship.

Gifts for children, teenagers and the elderly can be dropped off any branches of Jennings, including Parsons Road, Washington; Newcastle Road, South Shields; Eslington Park, Gateshead; Yarm Road, Stockton; and Cargo Fleet Lane; Middlesbrough. For more information visit

For more information about this year’s appeal, contact The Salvation Army’s Northern Division on 0191 2931360, or visit

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at Newcastle Theatre Royal until Sunday 18 January 2015.  Tickets are available from £12 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at


Photo: Snow White (played by Emily Shaw) and Dame Rita (played by Chris Hayward) with (centre l-r) Major Eric Pearce, Chris Nixon, franchise manager at Jennings Kia in Washington and Major Carol Pearce at Newcastle Theatre Royal.

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