The hunt is on: Easter revelry at Shrewsbury shopping centres

Hang out the bunting, it’s time for some Easter holiday revelry and there’s lots going on at Shrewsbury’s Pride Hill and Darwin Shopping Centres next week.

Local artists, Jamila Walker and Jenni Stobbs, will be offering shoppers bags of inspiration at two fun-for-all free crafts workshops – including making novelty bunting and Easter masks – on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 15 and 16, and there’s also a chance for under 16s to snap up some bumper prizes in The Great Egg Hunt.

The hunt has already begun for 20 Easter eggs which have been discreetly hidden in window displays of shops at both Shrewsbury’s main shopping centres.

Shrewsbury Shopping Centres’ community co-ordinator Maggie Love, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to this year’s Easter egg hunt, both from young people keen to take part and shop owners at Pride Hill and Darwin Shopping Centres who have got right behind it, offering generous prizes and their full-on support.

“They’ve put the eggs in some ingenious places in colour-filled window displays, so families will have lots of fun trying to spot them.”

To join the hunt all youngsters have to do is download an entry form from the Shrewsbury Shopping Centre website or Facebook page or simply collect a form from the post box in The Entertainer store in the Pride Hill Centre.

Next search for all 20 eggs, remembering to write down the names of the stores where they are. Then place the completed entries in the post box at The Entertainer store where the winners will be drawn and announced at 4pm on Friday, April 25.

“We’ve great goodie bag prizes for three winners, packed with gifts donated by many of the shops in the Shrewsbury Shopping Centres, so it really is worth taking part,” said Maggie.

Kevin Lockwood, Manager of the Shrewsbury Shopping Centres, said: “We always like to do something for children here during holidays and Maggie, who is a former Arts Development Officer for Shrewsbury, is passionate about involving the local community in centre events.

“We’re already seeing that the youngsters are having great fun on the Egg Hunt and we’ve got some fantastic prizes lined up for them as well.”

Maggie and her colleagues encouraged Shropshire-based Jamila and Jenni to bring their crafts skills to the Pride Hill centre in the run up to Easter.

Jamila, 31, of Shrewsbury, who has a degree in fine arts and photography, said: “We were thrilled to accept Maggie’s invitation. She has some great ideas and, for us, being based at Pride Hill in the very heart of town makes our work so accessible.

“It’s a great opportunity for people who will be in town anyway to get involved in crafts events, when they might not otherwise think of attending them.”

Jamila and mum-of-two Jenni, 29, of Pontesbury, will be at Pride Hill Shopping Centre on April 15, from 11am to 4pm, demonstrating how to make novelty bunting in the shape of Easter bunnies, chicks and eggs. Then the next day, April 16, also from 11am to 4pm, they will be spurring on peoples’ creative instincts once again via a mask-making workshop.

“The best thing is that anyone who joins in will have something they’ve made themselves to take home,” said Jamila.

She and Jenni recently formed a crafts collective under the funky umbrella title Hey Doll! along with another friend, Dulcie Hall, 29, also of Shrewsbury.

Jamila said: “All three of us are crafts fans, and we’ve each been practising our various arts, doing workshops, exhibiting and creating personalised gifts for family and friends.

“It’s been going well so far. We especially enjoy working with children and we always make sure that everyone makes something to take home. No matter whether they are crafty types themselves or have never made a craft item in their lives before, we will give them the skills to make a nice keepsake.”

Jamila, who gets married later this year to jazz musician boyfriend, Stuart Thomas, has even roped her other half into some of the events.

“Stuart has been great at supporting our crafts events and even provided us with musical accompaniment at some of them,” she said.

All three women still continue with their individual arts strands when not working together. Jenni and Dulcie also find time to continue their college studies while Jamila is a dedicated member of the Arts for Health collective.

The Egg Hunt prizes include Easter Eggs, a Fruit and Chocolate Hamper, Easter Egg Bath Bombs, Nail Varnishes, Gift Vouchers, Books, dinks and cakes, a children’s haircut, sweets and Egg Shakers.

They have been donated by Cherries Fruit & Veg, Chikpe, Claires, Blow & Go, M&S, Boots Opticians, WH Smith, Blue Inc, Mothercare, The Entertainer, Café Georgia, New Look, Supercuts, Mollies, Golden Guitars and Wilkinson.

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