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In 2015 Overgate Shopping Centre in Dundee celebrated 15 years since it opened its doors following a complete redevelopment.  

To mark this retail milestone and thank the local community for their support, the centre launched a year-long campaign, 15 Good Deeds. This was Overgate’s pledge to the public, over 12 months, to identify 15 ways to support local ventures, individuals or organisations.

The campaign launched to a tasty start in March 2015 with what would become the first of numerous random acts of kindness; complimentary 15th Birthday cake and shortbread treats (lovingly handbaked by a member of the Overgate team’s mum!) distributed to shoppers to say thank you for the support. The campaign was up and running.

POPDUNDEE in May saw many of the city’s brightest and most promising creatives from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, part of Dundee University, set up their pop-up shop in Overgate. POPDUNDEE proved a soaring success with shoppers who were given the unique chance to buy work from 2nd and 3rd year students across an eclectic mix of products including digital and handmade screen prints, animated comics, bespoke jewellery, illustrated calendars and fine art decorated ornaments.

Famous Dundee botanist, William Gardner, was to be honoured in the next 15 Good Deeds endeavour. In partnership with Bonnie Dundee and Dundee & Angus College, Overgate renovated the West Gallery behind the centre, transforming it into William Gardner Square, in recognition of the botanist’s pioneering work. This area is now fully functioning and allows herbs to be grown and for the public to then take home.

Overgate has proudly supported The ARCHIE Foundation, the official charity of Tayside Children’s Hospital in Dundee, across a number of 15 Good Deeds initiatives. Last summer’s #LoveNature event in Overgate saw ARCHIE’s Head of Fundraising Emma White raise awareness as well as donations, through a popular in-centre story time session. The charity’s appeal to build a new twin theatre surgical suite at the hospital, activated through the #archiesmountainchallenge, also saw Overgate support fundraising efforts with the sale of Archie rabbits in the centre.  

The 15 Good Deeds support for ARCHIE continued through 2015 culminating in Overgate’s magnificent and magical Christmas event, Stories with Santa. This incredibly popular and free in-centre event was launched by The ARCHIE Foundation supported by children from Roseangle House Nursery. Stories with Santa was an outstanding success through December, with local children interacting with Santa, Mrs Claus and Belinda Bookworm and receiving a free book from Santa’s book shelf. To ensure no children were left out 72 selection boxes were also donated by Overgate and distributed across the Tayside Children’s Hospital by nurses.

Overgate are co-founders of the Help for Kids charity, set up with local radio station Wave 102 to help improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in Dundee and the surrounding area. From initiatives such as bring a pound to work day, push up challenges and 3 piste mountaineering challenges and free family events like the popular Animal Magic Live, to Christmas carol competitions, the promotion of charity CDs and the high profile Help for Kids Giving Tree, where the public donated gifts for those in need, Overgate’s 15 Good Deeds charity efforts with Help for Kids have been far reaching too.

One of the most moving Good Deeds of 2015 involved local teenager Megan Fletcher. Diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, Megan shaved off her hair as she launched her Bald is Beautiful campaign with local charity hero Charlie Kean and The Evening Telegraph. In a welcome respite to Megan’s chemotherapy treatment, Overgate provided a day of treats and pampering for Megan and her mum in the centre.

The British Heart Foundation enjoyed great success too at Overgate with the ‘bag drop’ initiative raising £800 for much needed education and research.

Dundee & Angus College was also to benefit from 15 Good Deeds with a 6 week student internship provided to successful applicant Kerry Thomson. Kerry joined the management team at Overgate, gaining valuable experience which allowed her to complete her college course.

Another standout success story for Overgate originating in the centre’s internship scheme came through its sponsorship of the Most Promising Retail Student Award. Joining the centre on a 3-month placement, Metta Ramsay made such an impression that she was offered a full time Retail Marketing Assistant position, a role she continues to go from strength to strength in.

There were tears of joy in July to many who had the opportunity to witness The Signing Children of Africa Choir performing in Overgate as part of the ‘Educate the Kids’ project, another of the centre’s most high profile 15 Good Deeds. Singing Scotland’s unofficial national anthem, Flower of Scotland, the video of these school children from the Jolaurabi orphanage in Kenya became an instant viral hit and made television and radio news headlines.

The importance of recycling was a key message within Overgate last year and the centre undertook several Good Deed steps to support. These included partnering with the local Zero Waste Scotland volunteer group and Dundee City Council during National Recycling Week and devoting premium space in the centre to promote the benefits of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’. The recycling creations of children from a number of local primary schools were also allocated display space for shoppers to view.

Further demonstrating Overgate’s commitment to supporting local partnerships, a diverse spectrum of local businesses and enterprises have benefitted from 15 Good Deeds pop-up opportunities within the centre, allowing brands to be exposed to a high footfall of shoppers. Across 2015, Overgate hosted pop ups by Diaosu, Dundee Rep Theatre, Britain in Bloom, Bella Rosa, Marble Boy Clothing, The Apex, Double Tree by Hilton Dundee, The Old Course Hotel, Jam Jar and True Kitchen and the Stop Smoking Campaign.

What’s more, when kind hearted Overgate staff heard local teen and avid cycler Dylan Roddy had the misfortune of having his bike stolen not once but twice, they took it upon themselves to raise the cash to buy him a replacement. Generously supported by Dundee Thistle Cycling Club and Spokes Dundee, Dylan was presented with his new replacement bike. Another happy beneficiary of 15 Good Deeds!

Now, as the year-long endeavours draw to a close, the final two actions of the campaign have been announced.

Smalls for All is an outstanding charity which provides underwear for the most impoverished girls and women in Africa, helping to eradicate life threatening health and hygiene issues, as well as fighting the social status stigmatisation associated with the lack of this most essential item. Shoppers are being asked to donate new pants, new or gently worn bras and also well worn bras that can be recycled to the Smalls for All stand in Overgate on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st January, 2016.

Finally, because 15 is the magic number, Overgate is giving 15 lucky people the chance to win a £10 gift card through its Facebook page to celebrate the end of this landmark year. Visit Facebook.com/DundeeShopping for details.

Speaking about the completion of 15 Good Deeds, Malcolm Angus, Overgate Centre Manager said,

Reaching 15 years as a successful shopping centre is something we are very proud of. It might not have been the case without the loyalty and support of our customers and retailers.”

“This is why we wanted to give something back as a thank you and the 15 Good Deeds campaign has done just that.”

8.Overgate 15

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