Santa’s Grotto, a mountain of presents, games and activities and a tasty buffet… All you need to have some festive fun! rsz_dsc_0065

Substance misuse can affect some of the most deprived people in the city, and for some children who are affected by parental substance misuse, Christmas can be a difficult time of year.

From the 15th-17th December 2015 Forward Leeds elves ran around the city setting up Winter Wonderlands for clients and their children. The elves, aka Carla Carr and Helen Mason (Recovery Champions for the alcohol and drug service) turned offices into Santa’s Grotto and set up activities such as ‘Make Your Own Decoration’ and ‘Dot-to-Dot Santa’ and made sure that all the children went in to visit Santa in his grotto for their present!

rsz_dsc_0033Donated by the Mission Christmas campaign organised every year by Radio Aire’s Cash 4 Kids, there was a huge variety of at least 100 presents for children of all ages.rsz_dsc_0074

Children and their parents and guardians arrived at each of the Forward Leeds sites (Armley, Seacroft and Marquis House, Eastgate) from 3:30pm and were treated to a tasty buffet before sneaking into the grotto.

The delicious spread each day was provided by Armley-Junktion, flagship of The Real Junk Food Project. Sandwiches, sausage rolls, pasties, salads, fresh fruit salad, cakes and mince pies were all on offer!

RJFP xmas spreadParents and children were all extremely appreciative and the kids especially loved Santa and their presents!

rsz_dsc_0042Abby Durant (pictured bottom right) was chuffed with her present “I love my pink nerf gun, it’s so cool. I can’t wait to play with it and show it to my friends!”