Meet Santa at Christmas toy factory in Hassocks garden centre

Santa's team of helpers ready to staff the toy factory
Santa's team of helpers ready to staff the toy factory

A Christmas toy factory opening at a Hassocks garden centre hopes to raise £20,000 for charity.

The factory, run by Sussex charity The Budding Foundation, opens this Saturday.

This is the second year running which the charity has held its toy factory at South Downs Nurseries.

Clive Gravett, who runs the charity has his work cut out with a hugely ambitious target of doubling last year’s figures and raising more than £20,000 for the charity.

Clive said: “Last year was our first year and it was hugely successful.

“We raised £11,025 and all of this money has been spent helping young people in our local area.”

This year Santa Claus is getting hi-tech and has a new, online appointment system.

The Hassocks team are ready for all the excited children queuing up to meet Father Christmas.

The introduction of the new booking system this year and longer opening hours mean that Santa Claus will be able see more than 3,000 children.

This is an increase of almost 1,000 from last year.

Clive added: “Our support is wide ranging, from school uniform grants for families who cannot afford to buy them to respite holidays for young carers.

“This year, the factory is even bigger and better and we have built a brand new toy making machine for Santa, which comes complete with more moving elves.

“It’s very exciting!”

The charity also runs various other activities alongside the toy factory to raise further funds during the Christmas period.

Last year, more than £1000 was raised from a prize draw to win a home visit from Santa and the lucky winner was Zoe from Hurstpierpoint.

There’s also the opportunity to book an exclusive breakfast with Santa Claus.

The draw will run again this year alongside other activities with fantastic prizes.

The grotto has been designed and built by the team at South Downs Nurseries. All ticket revenue goes directly to the charity.

To book your visit see www.thebuddingfoundation.co.uk.

If you’d like to volunteer for the charity as an elf, then please contact clive@thebuddingfoundation.co.uk