Mayor of Merton’s auction panda to bring Christmas joy to hospitalised five year-old

This fluffy panda will brighten up the Christmas of a five year-old girl in hospital with pneumonia after £100 was pledged in an online auction in aid of the mayor of Merton’s charities.

Generous businesses based in Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon donated £100 which won the auction hosted by Merton Police’s Facebook page to raise money for the mayor of Merton’s charities the Avanti Club and Age UK Merton.


From left: Centre Court staff and auction winners Emily Palmer and Kelly Gibbins,  Mark Roberts of Merton Police and the mayor of Merton Councillor Brenda Fraser.

The panda, complete with its own Christmas cracker and scarf, was donated to the mayor of Merton Councillor Brenda Fraser.

It will be going to five year-old Emma Gibbins, who will be spending Christmas in Kings College Hospital with pneumonia. Her aunt Kelly Gibbons works at Centre Court Shopping Centre and when she saw the auction could not resist putting a bid in.

The mayor of Merton Councillor Fraser said: “I am very happy the panda has found a new home in time for Christmas. Thank you to everyone at Centre Court Shopping Centre for the generous donation and Merton Police for hosting the online auction.”

Superintendent Steve Wallace, of Merton Police, said: “We are always delighted to support the mayor of Merton’s charities and are very pleased the online auction got such a positive response from generous members of the public and local businesses.”

The panda was collected by Centre Court staff Emily Palmer and Kelly Gibbins from Cllr Fraser and Mark Roberts of Merton Police on Thursday 22 December at Centre Court Shopping Centre.