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Shop Hartlepool Blog

Welcome to the Shop Hartlepool blog, a great place to find out more about the amazing businesses signed up to Shop Hartlepool.

We want to shout about Hartlepool’s success stories and introduce you to the new kids on the block. You’ll find behind the scenes articles about local businesses alongside regular updates and news from the Shop Hartlepool team. 

We are always looking for great stories, so if you want to to be featured, or know a business who would, get in touch using the button below.   

The centre of the community

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre is a key part of Hartlepool, a home for high street brands and independent retailers to work alongside each other. Whether you are looking for clothing from big-name brands like New Look and Primark or DIY supplies from retailers including Wilko and B&M, the centre has you covered. Independent retailers have decided to call Middleton Grange home including Shop Hartlepool businesses like Daisy & Beas, a safe space for children to play and adults to relax.

Middleton Grange is more than a shopping centre, it is a key part of the community. Centre Manager, Mark Rycraft works with local businesses and organisations to make Middleton Grange a place that supports and collaborates with local people. Whilst you are shopping in Middleton Grange, you might not realise just how many fantastic projects are happening. We’d like to introduce you to a few initiatives that the centre helps make a reality.

1. Children’s Centre
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre work tirelessly to make the most of the space available, including empty units. One of which has been turned into a Children’s Centre. The unit enables free play sessions and more for local families. There really is something for everyone and it doesn’t cost families a penny. They have become part of families’ weekly routines, providing a welcoming environment where parents and children reap the benefits. Don’t just take our word for it…

2. Hands Up For Hartlepool
Hands Up For Hartlepool are a charity based within Middleton Grange offering a safe calm space for agencies from around the town to use allowing them to meet with the public. The space allows the agencies to speak to each other and keep each other up to date with the services they offer. These appointments can be pre-arranged or walk-ins.

The services offered to the local people are; access to knowledge and help for a huge range of topics from benefits advice, appeals, to help with education or getting back into work. They aim to help improve people’s lives and well being as much as we can using our signposting and local knowledge.

They also have some pre-loved school uniforms that the public are welcome to come in and look at and take home.

3. Hartlepool Food Bank
Hartlepool Food Bank use Hands Up For Hartlepool as a signposting area for their donations. It began as a result of them needing more time to offer to clients who use the foodbank in Church Street, in turn helping with the wider need. In order to provide the most appropriate help for people in need, Hartlepool Foodbank works with local agencies like Hands Up For Hartlepool. When you visit the agency, they’ll be there to help you however they can. If they feel you are struggling to put food on the table, they’ll supply you with a foodbank voucher which you can exchange at your nearest foodbank centre. They can also help you with long term support.

Local people are a fantastic support to Hartlepool Foodbank, support that they are incredibly in need of and appreciative of. The photo below on the left, shows a donation collected by staff and customers at Herons Foods in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

4. The Simple Weigh have moved!
The Simple Weigh originally opened their store around the corner from fellow independent business Daisy & Beas inside the Gemini Centre, part of Middleton Grange. Just a few short weeks ago, they moved into a bigger unit inside the physical Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. The Simple Weigh had outgrown their space and were ready for a new adventure! They are an eco-conscious business that supports the local community with affordable, environmentally friendly home and food products. Owner Lesley recently partnered with Love Hartlepool for a new Green Hartlepool initiative, showcasing the fantastic work taking part across the town from the Green Community.

5. Catcote Metro
Catcote Metro provides work placements for students with a wide range of special educational needs. Students gain valuable work and life skills, improving opportunities and confidence. Our ethos is to concentrate on what students can do! Catcote Metro sells quality gifts, homeware & accessories. 

6. Hartlepool Giving Tree supports Ukraine
Not everyone will wake up on Christmas morning with presents under the tree and Middleton Grange was on a mission to change that. Each December, the Hartlepool Giving Tree would stand proud in the centre filled with tags each with a gift request that would make Christmas wishes come true. When the pandemic hit in 2020 the physical Hartlepool Giving Tree was no longer a possibility, but the need was greater than ever.

Mark contacted Shop Hartlepool business, In Studio, along with a range of charities and organisations to make the virtual Hartlepool Giving Tree a reality. The virtual tree proved an outstanding success in 2020 and upon its return in 2021. An empty unit was turned into a collection point, along with warehouse space in the centre itself to make the initiative possible. The people of Hartlepool donated over 100,000 gifts, showing incredible kindness and generosity.

The Hartlepool Giving Tree turned the lights back on to help local business Hogg Global Logistics gather donations for the Ukraine Aid Appeal. The community came together once again to donate everything from blankets to vital medical supplies.  

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