Festive grotto held at Honiton garden centre nets more than £1,000 for children’s charity

Combe Garden Centre has donated more than £1,000 to Children's Hospice Southwest. Pictured are fundr

Combe Garden Centre has donated more than £1,000 to Children's Hospice Southwest. Pictured are fundraiser Jeff Thomas, Santa Steve Cleal and manager James Trevett. Picture: James Trevett - Credit: Archant

Santa’s visit to Honiton didn’t just benefit the town’s girls and boys – but helped a garden centre donate more than £1,000 to a charity.

Combe Garden Centre held a festive grotto throughout the festive period last year, asking only for a donation to meet Santa Claus.

Manager James Trevett said: "It was all done on a donation to charity basis and over the nine days it was running, we had more than 700 children visit Santa on his special train.

"Even Santa (Steve Cleal) was a volunteer that gives up his time to the cause.

"He starts growing his beard for the event in August to try and give the children a realistic Santa experience, and at the end of November goes to a local hairdresser and gets it bleached - along with his hair and eyebrows."


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Donations totalled £1,415, which the garden centre donated to Childrens Hospice South West.

The festive train has been put into storage and will be brought out this Christmas.

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