Northfield shoppers have helped to raise more than £4,000 for a dedicated neonatal charity, after more than 1,000 children visited Santa’s Grotto at the town’s shopping centre.

Between Saturday, 26 November and Christmas Eve, parents and their children had the chance to meet Santa and his elves at Northfield Shopping Centre, whilst showing their support for Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Tiny Babies Big Appeal.

Adam Meade, Northfield Shopping Centre manager, said he was absolutely delighted to be able to donate such a fantastic amount to the neonatal charity on behalf of the town’s generous shoppers. “We had a brilliant time at the centre during the Christmas period and everyone enjoyed meeting Santa and his elves at Northfield’s grotto,” he said.

“This is the first year the centre has donated the proceeds from the grotto to charity and as we have previously teamed up with Bournville College for the Tiny Babies Big Appeal, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to continue our support and we are so pleased to have raised £4,442,” Adam added.

“Over the festive season, we had some amazing feedback from Northfield families about how fantastic our grotto was and how Santa made a real effort to take selfies with shoppers passing by and staff from the centre, so we are extremely excited to get planning for Christmas 2017. Plus, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited the grotto and made a donation to the Tiny Babies Big Appeal.”

The appeal, which funded the opening of the £7m Neonatal Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital in 2010, is dedicated to caring for sick and premature babies and is aiming to raise further funds for vital equipment and staff.

Eileen Rock, Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Women’s NHS Trust, said she was thrilled to receive such a generous donation from Northfield Shopping Centre. “One in ten babies born at the hospital require Neonatal Care. The funds raised will be used to help purchase much needed medical equipment to help our staff care for premature, sick babies and their families. Many local families use the Neonatal Unit at Birmingham Women’s Hospital. For so many shoppers to take part in raising thousands for our charity is just incredible and we can’t thank them enough for their donations.”

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