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Cardiff families offered free Grotto visits during tough winter

As the festive season kicks off with a bang, families across the north of Cardiff are being offered a free Santa’s Grotto experience with more than 600 children expected to meet the big man himself!

With a Santa’s Grotto typically costing upwards of £10 per child, the expense for some households is becoming an additional burden during an already tough winter.

To support families during this time, local education and social care recruitment company, New Directions, will be holding 10 Grotto visits where children can meet Santa and his Elves and receive a special gift, straight from the North Pole!

Financially, Christmas can be a tough time for many families, and this has only grown more difficult during the recent cost of living and energy crisis.

Between April and September this year, Food charity the Trussell Trust said foodbank usage had increased by 11% on last year. These numbers are expected to grow during the holidays as more pressure is put on families to do more with less.

Emily Tune, CEO of New Directions said she hoped the Grotto would help local families make some special memories. Emily said: “The festive season is one of my favourite times of the year, but it can be especially important for families with young children as the excitement for Santa, and yes – presents, grows!

“Visiting Santa has become one of the ‘must-do’ Christmas traditions, but as we’ve seen over the past few years, it can also be expensive, especially as the cost of living has grown so rapidly.

“We’ve worked within the community of Cardiff for a long time and held a Grotto here last December. However, this year we really wanted to try and make a bigger impact and give as many local children some special memories.

“So, I reached out to a friend of mine at the North Pole, and thankfully, she was able to get a few elves and Mr Claus himself to come down to Cardiff with a few gifts! We’ve repaid him in sherry and mince pies, and nabbed a few carrots for Rudolph and his fellow reindeer!”

The Grotto visits will take place at the New Directions offices at Lambourne House, Llanishen on Monday to Friday’s from the 11th to the 22nd of December. Families will need to book through new-directions.co.uk/news. Spaces will be given on a first-come first-served basis.