Haywards Heath mayor visits Santa’s Grotto at Bentswood Hub

The Haywards Heath town mayor and his consort were in a festive mood as they visited Santa’s Grotto at the Bentswood Hub in America Lane this week.

Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:00 pm

Councillor Howard Mundin stopped by to see all of the outstanding work the Hub does, including its café and its free community larder.

“Margaret and I were in awe of the fantastic community spirit that contributes to this wonderful neighbourhood Hub,” said Mr Mundin.

The 90 children that visited each got to spend time with Father Christmas before receiving a special Christmas gift, he said.

The mayor, consort and Anna Sharkey with Father Christmas. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council.

All of the gifts were donated by Mid Sussex residents, schools and organisations, he added.

“We got to see the free community larder, which is run by volunteers, who collect food from local supermarkets, and is then offered free for everyone who has a need,” Mr Mundin said.

Bentswood Hub is the brainchild of Anna Sharkey and town councillor Rachel Cromie.

It is open on Christmas day, along with the community larder, for anyone who wants some company and something to eat and drink.

Haywards Heath town mayor Howard Mundin with his consort Margaret and the volunteers at Bentswood Hub. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council.

“They run groups and clubs for all ages and free coffee mornings, advice and training for all,” said Mr Mundin.

“Anna and Rachel also talked to me about many of the plans they have for the future of the Hub, including a sensory garden and improvements to the patio area,” he said.

The mayor urged anyone who wants to get involved in these projects to get in touch with Anna or Rachel.

“I would like to thank each and every one of the volunteers and organisations who keep this Hub going and to wish them all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” he said.

Food at the Bentswood Hub in Haywards Heath. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council.

Councillor Rachel Cromie said: “It was amazing to show the mayor the Christmas spirit at the Bentswood Hub,”

“The volunteers have done an amazing job and given the children so many special memories,” she added.

“The Hub will remain open on Christmas Day so that no one needs to be alone at Christmas so please do come along.”

Councillor Rachel Cromie and Anna Sharkey show the mayor and consort some of the food in the community larder, while one young visitor helps himself to a free banana. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council.
Haywards Heath town mayor Howard Mundin meets Father Christmas. Picture: Haywards Heath Town Council.