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  • Kate Angel

Budding grottos

This is The Budding Foundation's sixth year of running the charity Santa's grotto at Tates' of Sussex Garden Centre's, South Downs Nurseries (SDN), Hassocks and the fourth year at Old Barn Nurseries (OBN), Dial Post.

We are hugely grateful to Tates' as well as the volunteer elves that make it possible, not to mention the man himself (Santa!) The Magical Woodland Retreat (SDN) and Enchanted Forest (OBN) grottos are beautiful, elaborate and engaging grottos, enjoyed by both children and their adults alike. Even the hardest of Christmas scrooges would struggle not to enjoy the design and detail created and hosted by family run company Tates'. Their garden centres are also filled with sparkly Christmas decorations and unique gift ideas. Our volunteers' efforts are incredible and much appreciated; every single present is handwrapped and every Santa visit enhanced by friendly, enthusiastic elves.

If you or someone you know is full of Christmas cheer, we are always looking for more volunteer elves to join our merry Hassocks team, please email

Last year, we also set up a mobile Santa's grotto which visited local food banks and community spaces. This year, we will be providing free Santa visits for over a hundred local families in need, a bus load of pupils from Heronsdale Community Special School as well as inviting young homeless families. Teachers from Heronsdale are also kindly volunteering their own time to be elves in a special signing and Makaton day on Sunday 4th December at SDN.

The funds raised from the revenue from tickets make up a significant chunk of the charity's annual fundraising revenue and directly benefit local young people in need. The charity funds gardening projects for young people as well as funding essential family household items, respite trips and breaks, supporting educational, play, therapeutic and employment opportunities.

We regularly share our charity and museum activities on our website as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest; please follow us and share our posts : )

Ultimately, the more people that know about us, the more young people we will be able to help, as we work with other local charities, organisations and schools to identify where our fundraising can directly help young people in need.

Thank you again for supporting our charity this year and we hope you enjoy your child's Santa experience and that you return again next year, as many families do...

Finally, please buy a raffle ticket when you visit for a chance to win our £250 Tates' Garden Centres hamper, filled with goodies and vouchers just in time for Christmas. Ho Ho Ho and cheers xxx

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