Scores of families from across Nidderdale and the Harrogate District turned out for the launch of the Darley Mill Centre’s Christmas Charity Weekends.
For the last two years, the shopping outlet has thrown open its Santa’s Grotto to local charities, giving them the chance to run it themselves and raise funds for their own cause.
Organisations taking advantage of this year’s initiative include Disability Action Yorkshire, Harrogate Homeless Project, Ripon Rotary, Henshaws and Darley Playgroup.
In addition to Santa’s arrival, there were real reindeer and a fire engine manned by a crew from Summerbridge Fire Station. Disability Action Yorkshire – the first charity to benefit – also provided a present-wrapping service.
Ross Leventhal, the owner of Darley Mill Centre, said:
This year’s launch proved very popular indeed, and it attracted families from all over the district.
For these weekends, we provide the gifts for the children, whilst the charities provide Santa and his helpers, and this works very well.
We have had a great response and some of the charities are returning for a second and third year, which proves it is a worthwhile project.
It’s also important to stress all the money raised by the individual organisations goes straight to them.