Halloween arrived early today when a Cinderella-style pumpkin carriage arrived in the city.
More than 200 staff at World Vision UK welcomed it to the children charity’s headquarters in Middleton.
The carriage has been touring the UK (from Edinburgh to London), asking supporters to remember vulnerable children living in the world’s hardest countries by carving a heart in their pumpkin, instead of a scary face.
Professional pumpkin carver, Christian Russell, got staff into the Halloween spirit by carving an 1861lb giant pumpkin, which was donated by Thompson & Morgan following the Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton on Saturday, October 10.
World Vision staff were also invited to carve their own pumpkins for an exciting competition.
The winning heart-themed design will be replicated by Christian Russell at the final leg of the carriage tour in London this Saturday (31st October).
Tim Pilkington, CEO at World Vision, said: “We’re overwhelmed with the support we’ve had for this year’s Carve a Heart tour.
“We hope the tour encourages people in Milton Keynes and the rest of the UK to take a moment to think about vulnerable children - especially those suffering in Syria.
“I met refugees near the Syrian border in Jordan earlier this year, and heard from children who have lived through experiences no child ever should.
“There are around eight thousand unaccompanied children, the majority Syrian, who are now travelling through Europe to find safety. They are in urgent need of essentials, food, shelter and clothing, so it is urgent that we respond to this crisis.”
Actress and World Vision ambassador, Amanda Redman, is one of several celebrities supporting the campaign.
“Whilst we’re enjoying a spooky night of ‘fun fear’ on 31st October, we’ll be supporting children across the world who are experiencing real fear every night of the year,” she said.
The tour continues on Friday with the pumpkin carriage arriving at St Albans before departing on its final leg to London on Saturday, culminating at Christ Church, Spitalfields.
This Halloween you can turn a night of fear into a night of hope. Carve a heart. Be there for children living in fear.
Text HEART to 70060 to donate £5 to World Vision.
For more information, visit worldvision.org.uk/carveaheart