Walkden community cafe, Hug in a Mug, will still host their socially distanced Santa’s Grotto despite Salford going back into tier 3.

The Grotto will be running on the 5th, 12th, and 19th of December and a gift will be included in the price of the visit.

A trip to the grotto will cost between £3.50 and £8 depending on how many children will be attending.

The grotto will be run on a timed booking basis meaning that every child, accompanied by their parent or guardian, will get an allotted slot to visit Santa and enough space to socially distance from him.

The social distance means that the children will be close enough to see and speak to “Sanitised Santa”, however, all distancing measures will be supervised by a select few elves.

Hug in a Mug community cafe were forced to close during lockdown meaning they could no longer spend time with their regular customers. Cafe founder, Karen Gardiner said, “We have been open as a community cafe for 5 years now and a lot of people use us if they need help with anything, or just need company, it’s a real family feel.

“Having to close during lockdown made it hard for all those people who relied on us. We made it our duty to keep in touch with them, see that they had food and shopping, and just to be able to have someone to talk to.”

In this second lockdown, the cafe have not been receiving as much support from the council and are only being given 80% of profits made from the government. Although, Karen said, “we will try our best to do some lovely take out Christmas treats.

“We won’t give up on our loyal customers”.

The services they are offering can be found on their website, Hug in a Mug. To book a visit to Santa’s Grotto you can phone the store on 0161 376 3315. You will be asked to arrive 5 minutes early to avoid encroaching on other peoples time slots.


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