A new Grotto for Santa

Dec 9, 2015

4 year old Oliver Cheshire with Santa

4 year old Oliver Cheshire with Santa in his grotto at Dr Kershaw’s

Emanuel Whittaker and a number of its suppliers have been giving a helping hand to Santa at his grotto at Dr. Kershaw’s hospice in Oldham.

Every year the hospice hosts a very popular Christmas Extravaganza which raises funds for the hospice and Santa has been known to drop in and say hello.  Obviously, he needs his own grotto and Arron Cheshire, Community Fundraiser from Dr Kershaw’s, was concerned it was not up to scratch.

“We had been using a small and dark office in the Hospice, but we wanted something that was a bit brighter and more magical for Santa,” he said.  “We decided to ask our friends at Emanuel Whittaker if they could help.”

Facilities Manager from Emanuel Whittaker, Phil Peacock was confident that, with the help of other local businesses, Santa could enjoy a more luxurious base while visiting the hospice.  Timber was provided by Joseph Parr and Howarth Timber which allowed the Emanuel Whittaker joiners to build walls and a door onto the existing wooden gazebo within the Hospice grounds.  Signage to the grotto was provided by Signbox and Bladen Electrical made sure all the electricals were safe to use.  Kind volunteers from Dr Kershaws decorated the grotto and made it habitable for Santa to use during his visit.

‘As usual we were bowled over by the kindness and generosity of our sub-contractors,” said Phil.  “The space has been maigically transformed from a gazebo which was exposed to the elements to a lovely and cozy grotto which is a much nicer area for Santa to talk to the children of Oldham.”

Typically, the great British weather meant further shelter for other stall holders was needed and Arron asked if Phil had any contacts who could provide a marquee.  Fortunately, Phil is a Scout Leader and so he put a call out on Facebook to the North West scouting community.  The Oldham and District scouts came to the rescue and not only provided the marquee but also enough scouts to erect it and to take it down – saving the hospice around £1000.

“We have been very moved by the kindness of Emanuel Whittaker and their sub-contractors and of course the fabulous scouts from Oldham who made our Christmas Extravaganza such a success,” said Arron.  “The event raised over £8,000, with the grotto making just under £500 and everyone who attended was pleased for the cover provided by the marquee. Most importantly of all, Santa was very impressed with his grotto and said it had never looked nicer.”

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