Zoe Reynolds

Grotto raises £685 for charity supporting young families

A grotto which saw families flock to Northampton town centre to see Santa this Christmas has helped raise £685 for a charity supporting local young families.

The attraction in Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, staged by Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with Northampton Town Council, was a huge hit over the festive season, with hundreds of families popping in for their own private appointment with Father Christmas himself.

Families were asked for a donation of £1 and the money raised has now been handed to Home-Start, a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under five years of age.

Mark Mullen, operations manager of Northampton Town Centre BID, said: “We loved seeing so many families visiting the town centre to see Santa in our grotto. Our team have immensely enjoyed meeting all of the families and hope that we were able to provide some magical memories.”

The grotto formed part of the BID’s suite of seasonal activities staged in the town centre to mark the Christmas period, including the annual Golden Ticket giveaway, a Willy Wonka family fun day, a festive celebration in the Cultural Quarter, 24-hour Christmas radio via NLive Radio, an interactive song lyric trail and a curling lane next to West Northamptonshire Council’s ice rink in Commercial Street.

The BID hosts were on hand throughout the campaign to guide families throughout the grotto and were singled out for praise by visitors, with positive feedback lauding the team for making this year’s grotto the best yet.

The grotto was handbuilt by students from the construction course at Northampton College.

Home-Start volunteers offer regular support, friendship, and practical help to families, under stress, in their own homes, preventing family crises and breakdown.

Zoe Reynolds, manager at Home-Start West Northamptonshire, said: “We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful donation and we would like to thank all those families who donated as part of their visit to see Father Christmas.

“This money will make a huge difference to our work as we continue to support young families across West Northamptonshire. We will be using the money to go towards a Christmas party for the families we support and to buy presents for all the children.”

For more details visit www.northamptonbid.co.uk


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