Pulham Market garden centre makes the best of grotto cancellation
A business has given all the gifts it had prepared for its in-store grotto to a Christmas collection for struggling families.
After making the difficult decision to cancel Santa’s annual appearance, Cherry Lane garden centre was left with hundreds of gifts, which were wrapped and ready for the occasion.
Determined that the presents should be put to good use, the Pulham Market business contacted Nethergate Steakhouse in Long Stratton, which is running a campaign to support families across south Norfolk who may be struggling.
Garden centre manager Tom Berrisford said: “We are so sad to have closed our grotto. We’ve always welcomed Father Christmas and it is heart-breaking for us not to have the big man himself in residence as we normally do.
“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and we wanted to share some Christmas cheer. If Santa couldn’t distribute our gifts here at Cherry Lane, we were keen to ensure they would still go to local girls and boys who really deserve them.”
The collection has been growing through donations from businesses and individuals, with people being asked to nominate recipients via the steakhouse’s Facebook page, with the business also working with Norfolk Social Services to identify other families in need.
Despite the grotto having fallen foul of Covid-19 restrictions, Cherry Lane remains open for business in the run-up to Christmas – and is hopeful of a better 2021.
“Looking ahead to next year, we are already working on every way possible to ensure our usual full calendar of events can take place again,” added Mr Berrisford.