A hospice for end of life care has been given a gift of £2,000 this week from shoppers at Romford’s Mercury centre.

A cheque was presented at the centre to Saint Francis Hospice in Havering-Atte-Bower from proceeds of December's Santa's grotto, which has been held every year since 2003.

“We’re grateful to shoppers for their support,” Mercury centre manager Spencer Hawken said. “This proves just how generous Romford shoppers can be.”

Shoppers at the centre in Mercury Gardens have raised an astonishing £50,000 for Havering charities over the past 20 years.

They have also donated hundreds of presents for the Women’s Aid Havering charity which runs refuge homes in Romford and Hornchurch for families who have fled domestic violence with few or no belongings.

Good causes that shoppers have supported also include King George and Queen’s Hospitals charity, Wanderers Haven animal sanctuary in Upminster and Scruffy’s Angels lost and found cats and kittens charity in Dagenham.