Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall has backed a new community shop in South Tyneside – by donating some of her old clothes.
The South Shields singer surprised Cheryl McDonald and Lynne Davis by calling in at their new Community Corner shop to officially open it.
The pair have been running the shop, in the Monkey Mayhem soft-play centre in Shaftesbury Avenue, South Shields, for a few weeks now and say they have been left overwhelmed by people’s support and generosity.
They were left even more surprised when the star, who shot to fame on ITV1 show The X Factor with her band Little Mix, decided to visit their shop.
Community Corner takes donations from the public and sells them on to raise cash, which is then distributed to groups across South Tyneside seeking financial help.
Ms McDonald said: “It was such a lovely surprise when we got a call to say Jade was on her way down to our shop.
“We only had a few hours’ notice, as Jade had actually come up on a surprise visit to see her mam.
“She was so lovely and down to earth. She seemed to be impressed with what we were doing. It was just fab.
“I never thought when we started this that we would have our own shop, but to have someone like Jade officially open it was just beyond our wildest dreams.
“My daughter Bryony is a huge Little Mix fan, so she was able to meet her idol. It was just the best day ever.
“I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Jade and her mam Norma, and also for the donation of some of Jade’s clothes.”
Jade said: “Cheryl and Lynne are just amazing people to give up so much of their time to raise funds like they are for good causes in South Tyneside.
“You can see how hard they both work, and it’s just great how they are helping the community.”
The pair are hoping to soon make a donation to dance group Stamp to help pay for a new sound system.
Last week, they also delivered £500 worth of toys to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, with the help of Richmond Taxis, after hearing about Natalie Watters, whose young son is being treated at the hospital after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of blood cancer, in May.
After speaking with the mum, the pair decided they wanted to do something to help spruce up the toy department.
Ms McDonald added: “We had seen Natalie’s story on Facebook, and after speaking to her, we decided to see if we could do something.
“It was really sad taking the toys up as you knew just how sick these children were, but also really lovely as you were able to see the smiles on their faces when they were shown the new toys.”
Anyone wanting the support of Community Corner can e-mail email@example.com