Families who the charities support, as well as the families of staff who work at the charities, were invited to the centre as part of the free charity day.
The excited children and their families got to visit the Nordic Winter Wonderland where Santa and his elves are camped out in a Scandinavian-style log cabin. They gave Santa their Christmas lists so the elves could start preparing, and each child left with a small gift to keep them going until the big day.
While at intu Watford, the visitors from Watford Mencap which supports people with learning disabilities and Home-Start which is a local family support service, also got to enjoy the sparkling decorations throughout the centre, getting everyone into the Christmas spirit.
intu Watford general manager Vicki Costello said: “It was wonderful to welcome the two charities to the shopping centre, and to put a smile on all those children’s faces. That’s what Christmas is all about! They all had a great time and we wish them all a very merry Christmas from all of us at intu Watford.”
Emma Bryan, Coordinator at Home-Start Watford & Three Rivers said; “Whilst Christmas is a fun and exciting time of the year that many of us look forward to, it can also be a time of additional stress and anxiety for some. We are so grateful to intu Watford for engaging in the true spirit of Christmas; of giving, and working with us to provide such a wonderful experience for the families we support. One of our families said ‘I cannot express what it meant to be able to take my son to see Santa for the first time. He is growing so fast, and it is these experiences that mean so much.”
The shopping centre’s wrapping service is also back for 2018 from 1 December, situated on the lower mall by M&S and Three. Our very talented present-wrappers will save you from your annual Christmas wrapping frenzy, in exchange for a donation to the charity wrapping that day. You can see the full list of charities and dates at www.intu.co.uk/watford/news/christmas-charity-gift-wrap-service
The grotto can be found in the gallery space above Next. Book your tickets online and check opening times at intu.co.uk/Watford, or visit the Customer Information Desk in the shopping centre. To find out about intu Watford’s seasonal opening hours, head to www.intu.co.uk/watford/centre-information/opening-times