Homeless Santa’s appeal for grotto space
SANTA has made an urgent plea for a place to hold his grotto or he will have to disappoint hundreds of children hoping to meet him at Christmas.
Santa usually sets up his grotto in one of the empty shops in the Grosvenor Centre. He and Mrs Claus meet children and give them presents, while raising money for local causes. Last year around 1,500 children visited the grotto and £800 was raised for East Cheshire Hospice.
But this year all the units are full, with the vacant ones being taken up by temporary Christmas shops. While this is good news for the economy and Christmas shoppers, it means that Santa has nowhere to go.
Santa said: “In the past the wonderful Grosvenor Centre team have had an available unit and created a marvellous grotto for the children to visit me. This year, and they are so sorry, but all available units have been let and others on Chestergate and Mill Street are not available.”
Santa will be at the Charities Bazaar on Saturday, November 19, but needs a more permanent home.
He said: “I desperately need a self contained unit, secure and with facilities in the town centre. It has to be on the ground floor with easy access for pushchairs. I don’t want to disappoint the children of Macclesfield and hope someone can help.”
Samantha Hatton, who has run the grotto in previous years, has teamed up with Jayne Lewis, fundraising chairman at the Rotary Club of Macclesfield Castle, to organise the grotto. And Michael Jones, of PR Jones the Jewellers, is ready to take the grotto out of storage for another year, but time is running out.
Ed Kennedy, manager of the Grosvenor Centre, said he is keen to provide any assistance he can.
He said: “We know first-hand how popular the grotto is and we would have loved to be able to host Mr and Mrs Claus in the centre this Christmas as we have done in previous years.
“As we are fully let we simply have no unit available this year, however we will be continuing to support the cause with a donation of £200 to the East Cheshire Hospice and the Rotary Club of Macclesfield.”
This year’s charities will be The Rotary Club of Macclesfield Castle, East Cheshire Hospice and Park Lane School.
The grotto will need to open every weekend in December. Contact Steve Smith on 07955 001950.
Tony Keeley and his partner Carole Murphy as Santa and Mrs Clause