Doncaster Apprentice star turns Santa with 'random gifts of kindness' for shop customers

A Doncaster business owner and star of TV’s The Apprentice is turning Santa this Christmas – by surprising customers with ‘random acts of kindness' and gifts.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 10:22 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 1:31 pm

Frances Bishop, who runs the Pud children’s clothing store chain which has branches across the region, says she is doing it to make people smile and to ‘inspire people to be good, this festive season.

She says she will be picking out customers at random for surprises such as flowers, vouchers and food shopping.

Announcing the gift giveaway on Facebook, she wrote: “So each year we’ve always done something to give back.

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Doncaster Apprentice star Frances Bishop.

“This year I’ve thought long and hard about what to do. So many things have crossed my mind, and whilst we can’t help everyone - I wanted to do something a little different.

“This year I’ve fought many silent battles which I’ve not shared with you all for numerous reasons.

“It’s been one of the hardest most stressful years in business and personally to date. I try and share as much as I can with you all about this insane journey, but some stuff I can’t share for reasons known only to those close.

“However - this did get me thinking. In a world full of so much trickery, artistry and sometimes fakery - we often know nothing of the silent battles those closest to us fight everyday.

“So - I’ve spent time over the past few weeks trawling some of our customers accounts, looking for the little clues which may reveal that someone needs to know that there is still good in the world, the world can still surprise us, and we can still surprise ourselves.

“This year I have decided to sent random gifts of kindness which range from full food shops, flowers, vouchers or just something to make someone smile. Some of these are already on their way to those I’ve picked out.

“The rest will be revealed in a series of “happiness” live videos on Friday. I’ve chosen people from the areas our stores cover - and some a little further afield.

“The aim of this is to inspire you all this Christmas to be good. To be kind. And to spread a little happiness. God bless you all...and let the kindness games begin.”

Frances, who made it to the final five of the BBC show to find Lord Alan Sugar's next business sidekick in the 2016 series, has stores in Doncaster, Newark and Mansfield.

The wife of Mansfield Town player Neal Bishop, during her time on the show she described herself as a "feisty pocket rocket" and despite featuring on the losing side on many occasions, made it down to the final handful of contestants before hearing the fateful words "you're fired."