Happy Kissmas #1000kisses  

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21 November 2023

The city’s BID and IKEA are teaming up to support Southampton’s Christmas Toy Appeal  

As the festive season gets underway, GO! Southampton and IKEA are teaming up to support the Southampton City Council’s 35th annual Christmas toy appeal.  

The BID is launching a festive media campaign, encouraging everyone to get involved in taking a selfie, posting it online and for every photo uploaded IKEA will donate a gift to the Southampton Toy Appeal. 

The campaign is now underway, residents and visitors are invited to join in the fun and contribute to spreading festive cheer. The heart of the initiative revolves around spreading the love by puckering up for a selfie. Whether with friends, family, or going solo, individuals are encouraged to visit designated Christmas cuddle benches or mistletoe spots.

The cuddle benches can be found out and about while doing your Christmas shopping; in Westquay on the South Upper Terrace on Carlton Place in the Pedestrianized Zone or find the festive mistletoe in IKEA on level 4, opposite the customer lift and restaurant. 

Once you’ve got the perfect pic, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #1000kisses while tagging Visit Southampton (@visit_soton). The posted photos will then be shared on Visit Southampton’s Instagram stories. For every photo posted on Instagram, IKEA Southampton will donate a gift to the Toy Appeal – with the aim to reach 1,000 gifts.  

Chloe Leanne Davies, Commercial Activities Manager at IKEA Southampton said: “In Sweden, we say ‘Tilsammans’ This means togetherness, and what a way of bringing our local community together, to share in some fun and creating happy memories to take forward.  We are super excited and proud to be a part of this festive campaign because it embodies everything we see in our values – to create a better everyday life for the many people.”  

Flo Bevis, GO! Southampton’s Marketing Manager, expressed her delight, stating, “We’re really pleased to launch this campaign and work with IKEA to spread some festive cheer to the vulnerable children and young people in Southampton who need it most”.  

Southampton City Council’s Christmas toy appeal, in its 35th year, calls on the kindness of the community, businesses, and charities to donate new toys for children aged 0-18. Recognising the increased need amidst the cost-of-living crisis, the appeal extends its support to children and families assisted by other council services.

Councillor Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning, Southampton City Council said: “This is such a fantastic way for people to get involved in supporting the Southampton toy appeal and we thank Go Southampton and IKEA for their support.” 

Westquay, a staunch supporter of the initiative, provides a present drop-off donation point on Level 3, next to Auntie Anne’s and will be open until December 21st. For a full list of drop-off locations click here.

Westquay’s General Manager, Laura Read said: We’re always very proud to support the Christmas Toy Appeal and are delighted to host one of the Happy Kissmas cuddle benches this year. We look forward to seeing our visitors get involved and help hit the 1000 kisses target to secure more gifts for our local children.”  

To ensure your contribution counts, make sure to post your photos on Instagram before the campaign closes on Tuesday 19th December. For more information click here.

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