Worthing charity shop welcomes school choir for opening of its Santa’s grotto

Animal lovers are helping set up Santa’s grotto at the Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital charity shop in Worthing.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 5:16 pm

The shop in the Guildbourne Centre is expecting Father Christmas to visit on six days in the run up to Christmas, from Thursday, December 19, to Christmas Eve.

The grand opening of the grotto is on Thursday at 10.30am, when the Clapham Primary School choir will be singing.

It will be open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm each day, except Christmas Eve, when the hours are 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 2pm. Children can visit for £4, which includes a gift.

Caring for animals at Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital in Sidlesham. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks180130-1

Staff and volunteers at the hospital in Sidlesham provide expert care, treatment and rehabilitation for more than 3,500 wildlife casualties a year across Sussex.

At Christmas, the casualties are mainly hedgehogs which were born later in the summer and are too small to survive winter hibernation.

This winter, the hospital expects to care for more than 250 sick, injured or juvenile hedgehogs over the winter, aiming to get them fit and healthy for release back into their natural habitat.

Asha Park, administrative assistant, said: “Being an all-year-round, busy wildlife hospital means each season brings its own challenges to wildlife.

“During the festive season, we take in mainly hedgehog casualties.

“The staff and volunteers are under pressure to clean out each pen, provide fresh bedding, feed and weigh all the hedgehogs each day, particularly at Christmas, when many of their helpers have friends and family commitments.”

The hospital is reminding everyone that discarded plastic packaging and wrapping paper could be hazardous to wildlife.

Asha said: “We urge people to dispose of or recycle their Christmas waste responsibly and to keep a look out for environmentally-friendly alternatives wherever possible, to cut down on unnecessary waste to reduce the impact it has on wildlife injuries.”