Start It Right delivers Winter Grotto event in Croydon

12 December 2021

Start It Right delivers Winter Grotto event in Croydon

On Saturday 11 December 2021, Start It Right with Big Local Board Green, opened the doors to their Winter Grotto event to celebrate the festive season with the community of Croydon.

The free-entry community event was held at Big Local Broad Green with the venue transformed into a mesmerising winter wonderland to inspire families to celebrate the festivities together.

The event was also set up to offer families a unique opportunity to mark the first Christmas post lockdown especially after the challenging year previously due the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an area with many low-income families present, Christmas can be a challenging time financially which means some children can go without a single present - a highlight for many children on Christmas day.

In the true spirit of Christmas giving, young people under 13 were also given a free gift to take away with them which to many would be the first official Christmas gift before they embark on the end-of-year school holidays.

The Mayor of Croydon was present to say a few words to our guests before cutting the red ribbon at the entrance to declare the event open.

The family-fun occasion was also supported by many local organisations including Asian Resource Centre Croydon, Go2Games, Pension Protection Fund, Playtime at the Pavilion and Asda Wallington whose invaluable contributions helped to bring some festive cheer to the local community.

Teams from Start It Right, Big Local Broad Green, Asian Resource Centre Centre and Playtime at the Pavilion volunteered their time on the day to ensure visitors had the best experience possible.

The event hosted many exciting activities where young people had the opportunities to participate in facepainting, cupcake decorating or taking part in arts and crafts such as decorating their own Christmas stocking.

We also received lots of positive feedback from parents including Mum Susie Ferraira who came along to the event with her 12 year old son Javani.

She said: ‘Coming to the Winter Grotto was really good, lots of activities for the kids to enjoy. We got lots of freebies, fun, food as well as meeting the Mayor of Croydon.’

Families also posed in front of our snow backdrops to have their photograph taken by Eventful Photobooths to commemorate their fun day out.

For our older visitors, there was also an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a jam-packed festive hamper courtesy of Pension Protection Fund.

The event was an overall great success attended by families from a range of backgrounds to mark the end of one year and look forward to the beginning of another.

Alexia Lee, Founder and Director of Start It Right said: ‘Being able to deliver our Winter Grotto event for the community of Croydon has been an immensely rewarding experience especially as we understand the festive period can be a challenging time for many families since the Covid-19 pandemic.

We would like to thank all of our supporters who helped to make this event a reality and everyone who joined us on the day. We hope you all had a wonderful time and will remember it for many years to come.’

Richard Tait, Hub Manager of Big Local Broad Green said: ‘What makes us feel very proud, is that the whole community has pulled together, pooled resources and made contacts new and old come forward to donate suitable gifts to our project.

My hope for the day is that the relationships that begin and the local people who discover us via the event will continue to utilise our services and become a part of our bigger picture deepening and expanding the reach of our work for the betterment of the Broad Green area.’