The experience will be available in the first weekend of December (Guide Dogs UK/PA Wire)
22 November 2022

Guide Dog charity to host Christmas grotto for visually impaired children

22 November 2022

The sight-loss charity Guide Dogs has announced the launch of the UK’s first Christmas grotto for visually impaired children.

Over the weekend of December 3 and 4, families will be welcome to a free 75-minute experience where children will get to touch and smell different gifts in the head elf’s toy workshop.

Cookie decorating and hot chocolate stations will also be on offer at the immersive grotto at Camden’s Arlington Road Studi in London.

The event has been created in collaboration with children and adults with sight loss.

Alex Pepper, head of accessibility at Guide Dogs, said: “The festive period can be a difficult time for those with a vision impairment, with many people feeling left out of activities.

“When I was growing up with partial sight, I got very nervous when going to grottos as it was often dark and, a lot of the time, I couldn’t use the toy I was given because of my sight.

“We hope that our Guide Dogs Christmas grotto and Santa training will help shine a light on how important it is to make things as inclusive as possible, and hopefully inspire the world to make their events accessible during the festive season and throughout the year.”

Each ticket allows up to five people and slots are available to book between 09.30am-5.45pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Guide Dogs has partnered with the UK’s biggest ‘Santa school’ – the Ministry of Fun – to equip Santas and elves, who will be in grottos across the country with the tools to help make more grottos inclusive.

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