Santa ‘body doubles’ needed for St George’s Shopping Centre grotto

Posted on - 15th November, 2016 - 8:40pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Preston City Centre, Preston Locations, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston



A Preston charity is in need of Santa ‘body doubles’ this Christmas in the hope of making its grotto a success.

Galloway’s Society for the Blind, which operates in St George’s Shopping Centre, is on the hunt for volunteers to work as Santa, and his additional elves, in its grotto located in the heart of the shopping facility.

Candidates must be jolly, good with children, look good in a red suit, be partial to a mince pie and be available to work (volunteer) in the run up to Christmas.

Read more: Preston late night Christmas shopping 2016 and free parking 

The charity has operated the grotto in the centre for many years, but this year due to high demand, additional volunteers are needed.

The grotto opens on Saturday 26 November, and it is free to enter but donations will be appreciated by Galloway’s Society to help support more local blind and partially sighted people live an independent life.

Santa is making his first visit to St George's Shopping Centre on Saturday

Santa visiting St George’s Shopping Centre

Wilf Holden, 71, from Fulwood, Preston, has been a Santa body-double for the past three years and is encouraging other to come forward and offer their time to help.

He said: “Christmas is all about the season of goodwill and that’s just one of the many reasons I’ve given up my time for the past three years to support Galloway’s Grotto.

“It’s always great to see a smile on a child’s face after they’ve been to see Santa – and at the same time I know I’m helping the charity too.

“If you’ve got some time this Christmas – and fit the bill – your help would be gratefully received.”

The Galloway’s Grotto will run every Saturday and Sunday up to, and including, Sunday 11 December.

From Wednesday 14 December, the grotto will be open 11-4pm every day until Christmas Eve.

Emma Russ, senior fundraiser at Galloway’s, said: “Creating magical moments for children on the run up to Christmas these past few years has been great fun and we’ve raised thousands of pounds each year to help those affected by sight loss locally but we simply can’t do it without volunteers.

“This year we need both Santas and Elves to help us man our grotto – so if you’re able to help, we’d love to hear from you.”

To find out more and volunteer your time this Christmas, contact Emma Russ at Galloway’s on

For further information, visit the website.

Have you been to the Galloway’s Grotto before? Have you visited St George’s Shopping Centre recently? Let us know in the comments below

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