Leigh Park Christmas Grotto has been going now for nearly 20 years, running for 3 days a week at least in the last 4 weeks before Christmas. It is entirely staffed by volunteers who give of their own time freely in creating a winter wonderland in one of the empty shops in Greywell Shopping Precinct, and then welcoming children from the community to experience the true spirit of Christmas.
Every child is given a wrapped present, a card from Santa, a sweet (if allowed by parents) and a badge. Funding is obtained from the Havant Borough lottery, and donations from organisations and individuals. There is careful purchasing of presents, so that the cost of entry is kept as reasonable as possible.
Volunteer roles available:
• Helping to build the grotto during late October and November.
• Outside the shop to encourage children to come in.
• Welcoming the children in, and chatting to them while they wait.
• Being a runner to the Elves workshop with the name and age of each child.
• Sitting with Santa while they tell him what they would like for Christmas.
(Costumes are provided for all the above roles)
• Helping to select the present for each child in the elves workshop, and preparing the card
• In early January, helping to pack the grotto away.
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Sense of fun
- Able to communicate easily with children and enjoy being with them.
- Patience, especially when there is a queue!
- Age restrictions
- DBS check required
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Expenses reimbursed
- Health and Safety Policy
- Ongoing support
- Training provided
- Volunteer induction
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
Start Date: 03/07/2019
End Date: 23/07/2020
The Grotto is usually open for about 6 hours a day, for about 15 days in late November until just before Christmas. During this time, some 1300 children visit the grotto – averaging 80 every day. Volunteers usually work for about 3 hours, and on as many days as they are able, but hopefully at least 6 times each year. Time is needed to change into costumes before your shift starts. At least 7 people are needed on each 'shift', more when the Grotto is busy – 72 shifts each week! It is hoped that volunteers will attend the planning meetings if possible, held in the community centre, which are monthly at 6.00 on a Tuesday from July till October and last a maximum of 90 minutes. Other information The committee has to take care that children are 'safe' while they visit Santa, and that they conform to safety and fire brigade rules. No volunteer will ever be alone with a child. Volunteers will need to sign in and out at the beginning and end of every shift, and be fully aware of emergency procedures and evacuation.
Sub group of Leigh Park Community Association
Dunsbury Way, Leigh Park
Hampshire County Council Countryside Service
Contact The Elderly
Sue Ryder Havant