Hucknall family launches Santa grotto in their garden to boost cancer charities
A flourishing festive community attraction in Hucknall is expanding this Christmas by welcoming youngsters to visit Santa in his grotto – and in turn support two worthy charities in the process.
Bluebell Lights started last year with a festive display on Bluebell Close in the town.
Now, the people behind it are going one stage further this year and having the lights and the grotto, with all proceeds going to Macmillan and Maggie’s.
Kim Beard, one of the organisers behind the event, said: “We started Bluebell Lights last year, after the awful year it had been due to the pandemic we just wanted to put a smile on people’s faces, especially the children.
“As a community on our street we did the light switch on all together last year and that’s where it stemmed from.
"The majority of the neighbours are very supportive and we all help each other out.
"Our own children have grown up now and have children of their own but we are foster carers so we do still have younger children in our household.
"We chose Macmillan as one of our charities firstly because my husband has prostate cancer and found their support invaluable.
"We have also lost three very close friends, most recently my best friend, to cancer.
"Macmillan provided so much support to not only my friend but to us as well.
“Again, Maggie’s is extremely close to our hearts, they provided counselling to my husband after his diagnosis and provided invaluable support during one of the hardest times we’ve had to face as a family.
"Last year we didn’t do Santa’s grotto, so this year that’s taken up a lot of time to plan and source what we needed for it.
"We’ve been very lucky with people kindly donating things for in the grotto.
"We’ve never asked for monetary donations to help us fund anything we do, but the fact that we’re raising money for such good causes makes it all the more worthwhile.”
Last year, the charity put on a Christmas lights display and this
"With last year being our first year and such a success we’re excited to go bigger and better this year."
Santa will be in his grotto on December 4, 10, 11, 17 and 23.
Two extra nights for children with additional needs are now fully booked.
Kim continued: “Last entry into the line to see Santa will be 7.45pm.
“It is free to visit and all children will receive a gift.
“We would appreciate a small donation to our named charities.
“On the days that weather permits the snow machine will be on but we cannot use it in the rain, unfortunately.
“Can we please ask you to be courteous and considerate with regards to our neighbours and ask that under no circumstances are driveways blocked and please do not stand in and block the roads.”