Santa's Grotto Project
During the festive season in 2020 many families sent messages and visited explaining that they were struggling financially and were disheartened with the lack of opportunity for affordable family activities. Many annual displays and events were more expensive, cancelled or strictly limited due to new restrictions. We responded by providing a low cost, safe option for local children to have a special experience.
Our volunteers created a lush festive grotto in the garden centre’s old office using swap-shop material, we upcycled curtains to create a Santa suit, wrapped donated presents and dressed up as elf helpers.
Every Saturday & Sunday in December children could visit Santa by voluntary contribution, so no one was left out. It was on level access, so wheelchair users were able to visit. Every child was gifted with a wrapped book and also a toy suitable for their age range. Santa provided individual recorded messages to some children who were unable to visit in person and used ‘Makaton’ basic sign to communicate with our less-verbal and hearing impaired visitors.