Northampton garden centre to host specific autism-friendly meet Santa day

The quiet grotto has been adapted to help reduce anxiety

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 1:58 pm

A Northampton garden centre will host a specific autism-friendly meet Santa day this Christmas.

Dobbies has introduced quiet grottos this year to help make the festive period special for children with autism and other sensory needs.

As part of the national initiative, the Northampton branch in Newport Pagnell Road has set aside a day for the quiet grotto on Friday (December 10).

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Santa's grotto will be quieter on Friday (December 10).

The day will allow youngsters and their families to experience the delight of meeting Santa and his elves in an environment where the sound and visual elements have been specially adapted to help minimise anxiety.

Michelle Walklett, head of Autism Together’s Autism Training and Advisory Service, said: “As a specialist UK charity supporting autistic people, we’re pleased to be working with Dobbies in Northampton to help enhance their Christmas Grotto experience for visitors with autism and other sensory needs.

“Through this partnership, we’ll also be delivering autism awareness training for Santa and all his elves and helpers in time for the festive season.”

Sarah Murray, partnership and events manager at Dobbies added: “Meeting Santa is a wonderful experience for all children and we wanted to be as inclusive as possible.

“Here at Dobbies, we love to see the excitement before and after attending Santa’s Grotto, which is guaranteed to spread Christmas Joy throughout the rest of our Northampton store.”

Santa’s grotto tickets are priced at £11.99, which includes a toy. Advance booking is advised.

Visit the Dobbies website to find out more and to book tickets.