A Santa's grotto has been doing its bit to raise hundreds of pounds for charity while delivering a sprinkling of festive cheer.
Shoppers visiting the grotto at The Venue, in Cramlington’s Manor Walks shopping centre, have been helping generate vital funds for the region’s Bubble Foundation.
Bruno Coppola, general manager at Manor Walks said: “We wanted to raise money for the Bubble Foundation as it is a charity that we have established links with in the past.
“The Bubble Foundation is very important and it is one of the lesser known charities, yet it has such a significant impact on children’s lives.
“We were keen to have the opportunity to help the Foundation and it is anticipated that we will exceed our target of £300.”
More than 20 years ago, it was set up in support of Newcastle’s Bubble Unit, but sadly there has been a sharp reduction in donations to the charity.
As a result the Foundation is at serious risk of closure and if this were to happen the impact would be significant. The charity raises funds for medical equipment, toys and important research.
The charity’s plight has captured the hearts of many throughout the region, and Manor Walks’ retailers the Yorkshire Trading Company, Asda, Wilkinson and O2, as well as Cramlington Learning Village and Cramlington Town Council, were keen to raise awareness of the Bubble Foundation.
Mr Coppola added: “Santa’s grotto is a great opportunity for families to visit the centre and experience their own winter wonderland at The Venue.
“Manor Walks is such a warm and friendly place to visit so we wanted to create an event that represented this and was accessible to all ages.
“We’re very grateful for Digital Community Youth, Cramlington Town Council, and our retailers for taking part in something the whole community can enjoy this Christmas.”
The grotto is open this weekend. Tickets are available at the grotto and cost £1 per child, and a donation from every ticket will be made to the Bubble Foundation.
Digital Community Youth project manager Mick Harland added: “Children will receive a festive goody bag from Santa and adults can take advantage of the best in homemade designer, crafters and hobbyists who are present each weekend.”
Gill Johnston, fundraising manager for the Bubble Foundation, said: “We are very grateful for Manor Walks for raising money for the Bubble Foundation.”