Published: November 5, 2019 | Updated: November 5, 2019

That’s what best friends are for – Marnie, 11, becomes first purchaser of ‘cool’ new gift card

Marnie Dodd, 11, (right), the first purchaser of the Bournemouth Gift Card, with best friend Annabel Beales, 13.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

An 11-year-old has become the very first purchaser of the new Bournemouth Town Centre Gift Card.

Marnie Dodd decided the new card would be a great 13th birthday idea for her best friend, Annabel Beales.

The gift card works in the same way as a shopping centre or department store card but can be used with retailers and businesses across the town centre area.

Purchasers simply choose how much they want to pre-load onto the card and then give it to family, friends or work colleagues to spend as they wish.

It is an initiative of Bournemouth Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID).

After becoming aware of the gift card, Marnie asked her mum, Susie, to go online at midnight on the first day the cards went on sale and snap one up.

Marnie said: “I saw an advertisement in the town and I thought it would be a great idea.

“Annabel could spend it at lots of different places. It was a great present. I think it is such a cool idea.”

Annabel made her first purchase with the gift card at the Body Shop, buying perfume and lip balm with the £20 card.

Paul Kinvig, Chief Operating Officer of Bournemouth Town Centre BID, said: “We’re thrilled to see how the new Bournemouth Town Centre Gift Card has taken off and that people of all ages are buying and using it.

“I hope Annabel had a fantastic birthday and enjoyed her purchase.”

Other businesses participating in the scheme include Odeon, Pandora, Beales, Cath Kidston, Skechers, Pizza Express, Las Iguanas, The Real Greek and dozens of the town’s independent businesses.

For more details and a full list of participating businesses, visit: