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‘We are delighted’ says manager as Romford Shopping Hall wins business award

PUBLISHED: 14:10 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 20 July 2017

Michelle Fitzgibbons celebrates winning at the Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017. Picture: Ken Mears

Michelle Fitzgibbons celebrates winning at the Barking & Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2017. Picture: Ken Mears

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A shopping hall that prides itself on helping business start-ups and vulnerable members of the community has won an award.

Romford Shopping Hall won the “best business outside the borough trading in Barking and Dagenham” category at the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

The hall’s sales and marketing manager, Michelle Fitzgibbons, attended the event at the Roundhouse, Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, to collect the accolade.

“We are delighted,” she said.

“We are so happy. It’s nice to be recognised and for people to shop locally.”

And Michelle, who organises many events at the centre to raise money for worthwhile causes, plans to win more awards.

“Watch out Havering Business Awards, I’m coming,” she continued.

“We hope to win another award. I’m going to enter more. I think we are on a really good streak.

“Our shoppers, suppliers and customers come from Barking and Dagenham, Ilford, all over.

“It’s nice we get support and it’s nice to know that people still visit shops from outside the area.

“We try and keep all our suppliers local too.”

But it is not just businesses and shoppers that are the focus of the staff within the complex. Providing a community service is also top of their priorities.

Every Thursday, between 10am and 11am, a “friendship club” is held for people over 55.

“Residents from the surrounding areas come and meet up, make new friends,” she says.

“They might be isolated, lonely or might have lost a loved one.

“We have a cup of tea and invite speakers from local associations.”

Recently, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) attended the group and gave a talk to club members.

Michelle and the members are also planning to go on a day trip.

“Thirty-two of us are going to the Walled Gardens in Stapleford Abbotts for the day,” she continued.

“Then we are going to stop at the Orange Tree, Havering-atte-Bower, for a cream tea.

“Tapestry are going to help us with the transport.”

The shopping hall qualified for the awards because a number of its stallholders live in Barking and Dagenham and it gives free space to Barking and Dagenham College to hand out its prospectuses.

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