STAFF at Barclays Bank in Southwick Square have hosted their annual Christmas grotto, giving children the chance to meet the jolly man himself.
Organised by a team including community banker Kerry Stanton and operations specialist Jenna Miles, Father Christmas was accompanied by his elves to hear children’s wish lists and present them with a little gift on Friday.
“We’ve done it for the last three years and every year it has been getting bigger and bigger,” said Kerry.
“We had rallied around asking local people and businesses to donate for our Christmas presents.”
Some of the businesses that stepped forward to help included the Co-op in Southwick Square and Sainbury’s in West Hove.
Others donated after reading Kerry’s appeal on Facebook groups, Southwick Together and Barclays Bank.
“We did a plea last week and through that we got a lot of businesses, friends and people we don’t even know to donate.
“We ended up with 205 chocolate selection boxes,” said Kerry,
The grotto was open for one day, but within that time Kerry said there were more children queuing up than she had seen in previous years.
“There were a lot of children this time.
“We have had great feedback from people who had posted their pictures on Facebook and asked us to do the Christmas grotto again next year.”
“The day was absolutely fantastic,” added Kerry.
All the left-over selection boxes will be donated to the Royal Alexandra children’s hospital in Brighton.
The hospital provides outpatient and inpatient facilities, intensive care and a 24-hour emergency care service for children. For more details, visit www.theroyalalex.co.uk
Barclays Southwick is located at the Bank House in Southwick Square.