A SCOUTS group that could not use their usual grotto at Caldicot Christmas Market were rescued by fundraisers.

The 2nd Caldicot Scouts, who have been given the main grotto in Caldicot Town Centre for the last 10 years, were told they were no longer able to use it just two weeks before the big day.

After putting out a plea for help on Facebook, mum-of-three Vicky Jones, whose daughter is a Beaver and husband is a long-time volunteer for the group, said she was blown away by the response.

A total of £1,224 was raised in the fortnight before the big event, and the scouts were able to make their own grotto in the former Store Twenty One building in the town's Newport Road.

Organisers Mark Lane and Rachel Smith at the 2nd Caldicot Scouts' Santa's Grotto. Picture - www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk

As well as the money donated for the grotto, hampers of sweets and selection boxes were also gifted to the group, as well as fancy dress costumes and raffle prizes.


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Scout Group Leader Rachel Smith said it made her proud of the Caldicot community.

“It’s been fantastic. I’ve had so many messages offering help, it’s unbelievable. It’s another example of how people look after each other in Caldicot," she said.

"We had so many donations, including a local face painter who came down to paint the windows for us and make it look really special.”

Mrs Jones said it was remarkable the grotto was arranged in two weeks, as the group usually starts planning for the event as early as April.

“The grotto has always been a huge thing for our family, so it would have been heart-breaking for us to not get to do one this year," she said.

“It’s also our biggest fundraiser of the year, so to lose it this year and to not have been able to replace it would have been really difficult for us to have made up for financially.

“I can’t thank everyone enough. There have been people at the grotto every night trying to make sure it was done in time.”

Hundreds of people visited the grotto to enjoy the festivities at the weekend, to take part in the raffle, and visit Elsa and Olaf - characters from Frozen - who were in attendance alongside Father Christmas.