Grotto visitors raise funds for Children’s Hospital`

Santa visits help pioneering childrens centre.

House of Fraser’s much-loved, festive winter wonderland raised an incredible £8,100 during Christmas 2016 to support the pioneering work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

The Christmas grotto, which was located on the fifth floor of the department store, was open from the end of November until Christmas Eve and donated £1.20 from every ticket purchased to the charity’s £3.65 million Star Appeal, to help construct the UK’s first paediatric Rare Diseases Centre.

In all, over 4,200 children visited the experience, meeting Santa’s elves before being presented with a gift from the big man himself. Parminda Sahota, store manager at House of Fraser, said: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to donate over £8,000 to such a worthy cause. This is thanks to our customers, and the team involved, in making the grotto such a success.”

Saranne Moreno, new business manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, added: “We were incredibly grateful to House of Fraser for supporting us over the Christmas period and helping to raise such a fantastic amount for our Star Appeal.

“The money raised will go a long way to making a huge difference to the lives of our brave children and their families living with a rare or undiagnosed condition, taking us one step closer to making their dreams a reality.”

Assia Sohaib, deputy BID manager at Retail Birmingham, the business improvement district for city centre retail businesses, said: “We’re very pleased the grotto raised such an amazing figure for a cause that affects so many local people and touches the hearts of many.”

Every year Birmingham Children’s Hospital treats more than 9,000 patients living with over 500 rare or undiagnosed conditions. These children often face huge challenges and obstacles growing up and the sense of isolation can be overwhelming, with many families spending a lot of time seeing different specialists on different days in different departments.

To change this, the Star Appeal will build a brand new centre which will provide a single place within the hospital for all assessment, diagnosis, treatment and research. It will also go a long way towards reducing family isolation, improving diagnosis and ensuring patients are at the forefront of research and medical advances.

Fundraising currently stands at just over £2.5 million, meaning there’s still a long way to go for the charity to reach its £3.65 million target. For more information on the Star Appeal, visit