Girl Guides open grotto at Fareham Shopping Centre

From left Girl Guides county commissioner  Jacqui Dixon, mayoress Anne Ford, mayor Mike Ford and Fareham Shopping Centre manager Mike Taylor
From left Girl Guides county commissioner Jacqui Dixon, mayoress Anne Ford, mayor Mike Ford and Fareham Shopping Centre manager Mike Taylor
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FATHER Christmas has been getting some help from his elves – and the Girl Guides.

A grotto has been set up and opened in Fareham Shopping centre, near BHS, to raise money and awareness for the Girl Guides.

The mayor and mayoress of Fareham Cllr Mike Ford and his wife Anne paid the centre a visit to open the grotto on Thursday.

The occasion also marked the start of late-night shopping – until 8pm every Thursday – in the centre.

Centre manager Mike Taylor said: ‘We are so pleased to be hosting so much activity this Christmas and welcome customers to pick up a free events programme from around centre, which also contains our children’s colouring competition entry form.’

Mr Taylor said there will be a giant snow globe and bauble characters, along with children’s entertainment, taking place at the centre throughout December.

The centre is also hosting its grand giveaway, where Jack Frost will make random appearances between 6pm and 8pm every Thursday.

If customers spot him, they win a prize with numerous store vouchers along with prizes donated by the stores in the centre.

Shopper Rachael King from Gosport won £500 in vouchers on the first late night.

Mr Taylor said: ‘I would like to congratulate the winner of the £500 and thank the mayor and mayoress for opening our grotto this year which has been run by the Girl Guides, who have been doing a fantastic job, for the past eight years.’