Christmas has come early for one lucky Echo reader.
Linda Wilkinson can pull out all the stops on Christmas day after winning a £250 food and drink hamper thanks to Sunderland BID and the generous retailers of Sunderland city centre.
Mrs Wilkinson, 47, from Houghton, had entered the competition by collecting tokens in the Echo and handing in her completed form to the Culture Shed in the city centre’s Blandford Street.
The mum-of-two said: “I can’t believe I’ve won, I am rather shocked.
“I thought when they pulled the envelope from the bag that it looked a bit like mine and it was.
“The mother-in-law has already bought us a turkey but we’ll have to freeze it.”
Mrs Wilkinson, who works at Sunderland College, will be spending the big day with husband Richard, sons Stephen, 20, and Christopher, 17, plus the in-laws Olwyn and Alan Wilkinson.
The prize included £100 of meat from Rob’s Quality Butcher in Blandford Street, joints from Ibbitsons and veg from Thorburn’s, both basted at Jacky White’s Market.
Plus there was a £20 from Dicksons in Maritime Terrace and booze from Marks and Spencer.
Gemma Dishman, media and communications manager for Sunderland BID - which works throughout the year to promote all that’s good in the city centre, said: “The purpose of the competition was to show the range of shops available here in Sunderland and to say you don’t have to go to big name supermarkets.
“By dropping their entry forms off people were coming down into the city centre.
“It’s wonderful to be able to give someone an early Christmas present.”