Taking time out of her busy schedule, actor Sue Johnston OBE opened the Combined Charities Christmas Card shop on Saturday 30th October.
The shop, back in Wilmslow library after its missed year due to covid, looked as festive as ever with its range of over 300 different card designs from 30 local and national charities available to purchase from now until 11th December.
Sue Johnston, who lives in Wilmslow and is known for playing Sheila Grant in the soap opera Brookside, Barbara Royle in the comedy The Royle Family, Miss Denker in Downton as well as having many other roles including in Coronation Street and Waking the Dead, performed the official opening.
She said "Sheila initially contacted me last year about opening the shop, following the postponement of that I was delighted to support such an incredible local initiative as they reopen this year. I am amazed that it has been running for 50 years and has raised £5.5 million!" she added. Even though I shop here every year, I am particularly pleased to help out this year as I know how hard it has been for all charities and anything that we can do to help is good. The range of cards available means I won't be going anywhere else for mine".
Ms Johnston spent 30 minutes chatting with customers and volunteers whilst browsing the shop and buying cards and some festive gifts including a flying bee which is literally "flying" out of the door. She also had time for a photo with Lady, a show cocker spaniel, who is currently in training with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Fellow Queen's Honours award winner and founder of the Christmas Card Shops, Sheila Hallas MBE said, "We were thrilled that Sue could attend to launch our 2021 shop. This year is our half century celebration and we are thrilled that someone as busy as Sue has given up her time to open the shop."
The Wilmslow shop is open every day, except Sunday, until 11th December.
Full details of opening times can be found on www.christmas-cards.org.uk. Cards can also be purchased online.