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'Best ever' Santa's Grotto at Sturmer Nurseries near Haverhill raises more than £3,000 for charity

Father Christmas was extremely busy in the run-up to Christmas, welcoming over 600 children to his grotto at Sturmer Nurseries Garden Centre.

The charity event, organised by Haverhill Lions Club, ran over four weekends in December and raised over £3,000 for local charities.

Lions president Pam Maguire said: "This has been our fourth Santa’s Grotto and our best ever, we think.

"This year we introduced a booking system which improved the visitor experience, as well as face- and nail-painting.

"We would like to thank all 602 children who came and wish them a very happy Christmas.

Santa and his helpers at the Sturmer Nurseries grotto
Santa and his helpers at the Sturmer Nurseries grotto

"All the money raised will support some great local charities including Joshua Tarrant Trust, West Suffolk Ophthalmology Department, Haverhill Scanner Support and Training, and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust Wish List.

"We would also like to thank our face and nail painters Elena Kitsis and Heather Polley, who kept the children amused and helped raise more funds from donations for their work.

"And finally big thanks to Sturmer Nurseries, without whom we could not run our Grotto, who let us use their facilities for free."

Haverhill Lions Club was chartered in 1982 and aims to help the less fortunate people and organisations within the Haverhill area through community service and

In the past year the club has made donations to Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (oncology and One in a Million appeal), Haverhill’s ultrasound scanner, Little Wonders Pre-School, Stepping Stones Childcare, Cancer Research Relay for Life, Joshua Tarrant Trust, West Suffolk Every Heart Matters Appeal, Haverhill Scouts and Guides, Friends of Coupals, Kedington Community Association, Haverhill Show, Thurlow Fayre, and Bobstock music event.

During the summer months Haverhill Lions Club also ran their train and provided barbecues at many local events. The club would like more volunteers to make sure they can do events like these for many years to come. If you are interested please contact club secretary Len Russell at len.russell@btinternet.com or visit the Facebook page for more information.

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