Sunderland student off on Far East holiday after winning prize

(left to right) Laura Hartland-Adams and Kirsty Currie from Sunderland BID with winner Claire Richardson and her partner Anthony Simpson,
(left to right) Laura Hartland-Adams and Kirsty Currie from Sunderland BID with winner Claire Richardson and her partner Anthony Simpson,
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SUNDERLAND student Claire Richardson is off to the sun after winning a Christmas cracker of a prize.

Clare, 21, was one of thousands of visitors to the city over the festive period who took part in the Advent Door promotion organised by Sunderland’s Business Improvement District (Bid).

And Christmas came early when former EastEnders star Matt Lapinkas, who was appearing in the Empire’s Snow White panto, called to say she had won £1,500- worth of holiday vouchers.

Now she has called into the Bid’s offices to pick up her prize and is looking forward to a Far East trip with boyfriend Anthony Simpson.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Clare, of Chester Road.

“When I got the call I just thought it was someone winding me up. I love to travel so this is the best prize I could ever have won.”

Throughout December a full-size door moved around the city each day, with shoppers invited to pick a key and try to open it to win a daily prize.

“I actually won a prize the day it was at Debenhams,” said Claire, who is studying primary education at Sunderland University.

“I won four pairs of jeans and four Christmas jumpers and I thought that was amazing, so I couldn’t believe I’d won again.”

“We’ve always wanted to go to Thailand or Singapore and these vouchers will definitely help get us there,” she said.

Bid chief executive Ken Dunbar said the competition had been a huge success.: “Not only did shoppers get a chance to win a great prize every day but many of the retailers who took part reported a boost in trade,” he said.

“It was an extremely popular promotion and I’m sure we will look to doing it again in 2015.”