Learning Links hosted a free Santa’s Grotto on the 16th December at our new Furnish store in Kingston road. The purpose was to provide a free event for children and parents who would like to see the magic of Christmas in order to engage with the community and to introduce ourselves to our neighbors. We had a great turn-out with children walking through the door and receiving a free gift from Santa (the looks on their faces was magic). We had food, a raffle, and a post box for children to write a letter to Santa, and at one point we even had school children walk past to which Santa went outside to greet them with his handy little assistant ringing the Christmas bell to make sure all within a 20 mile radius was aware of Santa’s presence. ‘Merry Christmas’ Santa boomed across Kingston Road and the children’s faces lit up instantly. Unfortunately due to them being on a school trip they were unable to come in, but we are so glad we managed to make them happy for a few minutes. That’s what Christmas is all about.

We had children of all ages come in and experience the festivities that were on offer. Santa’s little helpers volunteered to walk up and down Kingston Road looking for people to come and experience the magic of Christmas for free. Parents were treated to a mince pie, a cake, and a natter, while children were treated to not just one but TWO small gifts wrapped up together. The event ran from 11-2 and we had local children come in with their parents (and if you include the school children we reached out to many individuals that day). Even if just one child came in and received a gift that would have been a mission accomplished for Learning Links as we are aware this time of year is not about quantity, but quality. Quality family, quality time, and quality happiness. It’s not about a number, and how many, it’s about making a difference in a person’s life so they can walk away feeling more positive than what they did before, and that is what Learning Links is all about.

We are a charity who are determined to make a positive difference in your life, and making your day happy and more positive is exactly what we are here to do, so thank you for giving us the opportunity to host this event, and thanks to everyone for coming. It really was a great turn-out and we could not have done any of it without our wonderful staff, the local people of Portsmouth, and of course Santa Claus himself who we were honoured to have with us on this day.