Santa's Grotto Project
Now in it’s fourth year, the Grotto began during the festive season in 2020 when many families sent messages and visited us explaining that they were struggling financially and they 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 COVID 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.
Saturdays & Sundays in December children can visit Santa by voluntary contribution, so no one is left out. Level access, so wheelchair users are able to visit. Every child is gifted with a wrapped book and also a toy suitable for their age range. Santa can provide individual recorded messages to some children who are unable to visit in person and he uses ‘Makaton’ basic sign to communicate with our less-verbal and hearing impaired visitors.