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Ballymena mum of four wins Dream Christmas competition

Kathy Croskery, Win Your Dream Christmas winner, with daughters Lucy and Carly

Kathy Croskery, Win Your Dream Christmas winner, with daughters Lucy and Carly

A busy Ballymena mum says it’ll be treats all round after winning a £1,000 Ballymena Gift Card to spend on making Christmas magical.

Kathy Croskery, 43, scooped the top prize after entering the Win Your Dream Christmas competition backed by Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID).

“I’m so shocked to have won,” said Kathy.

“I saw the Win Your Dream Christmas competition on Ballymena BID’s Facebook page and it was the name of the competition that encouraged me to enter. I have four children, aged 10, 9, 7 and 4. My dream Christmas is time with family, and seeing the delight and excitement on our children’s faces.

“I’m self-employed and run a small business selling ladies’ clothing and I always support the small independent businesses in Ballymena like Bluebird and Camerons. We often don’t see the hard work that goes into running a small business, the struggles and the late nights, but it’s the small businesses that supported us in the pandemic, and we have to support them in return. They make our town what it is, and everything you need for Christmas, or any other time, is right here in Ballymena.

“I haven’t even started Christmas shopping yet, so with the Ballymena Gift Card, I’ll be able to get presents for the children and a few nice things that we wouldn’t normally have. The kids will be so excited when they hear we’ve won. They don’t get pocket money so I might allocate a bit to a day out in Ballymena, we can have lunch and the kids can each choose one thing they’d like. Once you’ve got kids, you don’t tend to treat yourself anymore, so I might even treat myself too!

“At the children’s school, we club together and buy a Ballymena Gift Card as our regular gift for the teachers and classroom assistants instead of the One4All Gift Card we used to get. The Ballymena Gift Card can be spent with 116 businesses, both big brands and independent businesses, so it offers choice but also helps our local town. You can’t go wrong.

“I’ve got a big family. This Christmas, the 6 of us will be at home for lunch and there will be 29 of us at night time. Then on Boxing Day, both sets of grandparents will be over. With the cost of living everything is so much more expensive now. I’m so excited to have won the Dream Christmas competition and I can’t wait for Christmas.”

Emma McCrea (BID Manager) and Clare Moore (BID Officer)

Emma McCrea (BID Manager) and Clare Moore (BID Officer)

The Ballymena Gift Card launched in November 2022 as a means to encourage local spending, led by Ballymena Business Improvement District (BID) and supported by the Department for Communities, who provided funding for the in-person kiosks in the Fairhill Shopping Centre and the Tower Centre.

Emma McCrea is the Manager at Ballymena BID and said: 

“Everyone at Ballymena BID would like to congratulate Kathy on winning this fantastic prize. Not only will Kathy be able to make her dream Christmas come to life thanks to a £1,000 Ballymena Gift Card, but every penny will be spent here in Ballymena with our local businesses, spreading the festive cheer throughout Ballymena.”

The Ballymena Gift Card is part of the award winning Town & City Gift Card initiative from fintech Miconex, organisers of the Win Your Dream Christmas competition alongside Ballymena BID.

Colin Munro, managing director of Miconex, said:

“It’s brilliant to see a shop local advocate like Kathy win the Dream Christmas competition. 98% of people are keen to support local for Christmas 2023, and 89% are planning to buy a gift card. Choosing the Ballymena Gift Card is a powerful way to support local businesses, with a level of choice that no other gift card can offer. We wish Kathy and her family a wonderful Christmas.”

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