Our Young Families Project visits Santa! - YMCA DownsLink Group

Our Young Families Project visits Santa!

Gocher Court Brighton Young Families Project Santas Grotto December 2023 for cover image

On Friday, four families and some staff from our Brighton Young Families Project visited Santa’s Magical Winter Wonderland in Hassocks.


Our Young families and staff from the project stood in a line under the 'Stanta's grotto' sign with Clive dressed as a green elfThey were welcomed by Clive the Elf, founder of the Budding Foundation that runs Santa’s grotto at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks. The Budding Foundation provided free tickets again this year to our young families so they could enjoy a magical day out and meet Santa!

The wonderland starts inside an enchanting toy shop and then the children have to find a hidden door that takes them through to a winter wonderland full of elves, snow, toys and beautiful scenery. At the end of the path they are led through a curtain to meet Santa and make their Christmas wishes!

The day was truly magical and everyone had a huge smile on their face throughout. One of the children immediately threw their arms around Santa, while others cautiously sat on their parents laps and had a good chat! One of our young families sat with santa

Some of our families couldn’t make it to the grotto because of poorly children but Santa and Clive kindly gave us presents to take back for each of them so they didn’t miss out.

This year Santa’s grotto is completely booked out with up to 120 kids visiting each day! It is all run by volunteer elves, including some from our very own Young Families Project this year.

We are so grateful to Clive and The Budding Foundation for their heartwarming generosity and kindness. Everyone left feeling very festive and looking forward to Christmas!

Click below to watch our video of the magical day out:


YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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