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A wonderful Christmas Grotto

Harris Primary East Dulwich grotto

Harris Primary East Dulwich elves

We were completely thrilled with the turn out at our first Harris Primary East Dulwich Christmas Grotto on Saturday: Santa gave out over a hundred presents and all of our stalls were inundated from the minute we threw open our doors... Faces were painted, crafts were made and sold, delicious cakes were scoffed, and many a bargain was bagged at the second hand toy stall. There were plenty of mummy & me manis booked, lots of you took advantage of our excellent gift-wrapping service, and then, having bought almost 900 raffle tickets, you lot guzzled mulled wine and mince pies like it was going out of fashion - nice work, people!

Whilst we're still calculating the final net funds raised on the day, its safe to say that, with over £4000 taken across the grotto, the movie night and the contribution from our very generous sponsors Daisy Sales & Lets, the lovely new tangle trail in the playground has been well and truly paid for - we're looking forward to writing a cheque for it before the end of this term.

And when we do, this will be a real moment of pride for the FoHPED committee - for whom there have been many a sleepless night in the run up to the Autumn term's events - but this is a pride which can and should be shared across every part of our school community - parents, teachers and children alike. Because the real success of Saturday was all of you who took the time to turn up, buy raffle tickets, queue for Santa, eat cakes, buy tea towels etc. We simply didn't know if, after all the planning and preparation, we'd be standing there, twiddling our thumbs, with just a handful of people milling about in an echoey hall - gratifyingly, the reality couldn't have been more different :-)

That said, I hope you'll allow us to give a special shout out to a few people who really went above and beyond in terms of their contribution of time, skills, money or even all three:

Firstly, all of the parents who not only manned a stall but also freed up their time to come to planning meetings, create a superlative offering on the day, arrive early to set up, and help clear down afterwards: We relied on parents to step up and volunteer, and you guys really came through!

Secondly, everyone who SO generously donated a raffle prize - from our headline sponsor Daisy Sales & Lets, all of the parents who made a contribution, to the local businesses who supported us in their droves - please do check out our list of amazing prize donors, and support those who support us.

To reception mum, Katie who, would you believe, both donated the Santa gifts (and not just any gifts - amazing quality gifts - our kids were delighted!) through her wholesale gift business, but she also wrapped them all herself - it must have taken hours! She also donated the goodie bags and contents for the movie night. All of the above made an enormous difference to both the success of the two events, and also to our costs - we are super-grateful!

To another reception mum Mayoni who not only took on the role of raffle coordinator, but also sponsored the cost of the raffle ticket printing herself. Her business, The Clinic by Dr Mayoni (formerly Neroli in Honor Oak) provided the wonderful manicurist on Saturday, and a fantastic choice of beauty products for sale at bargain prices with 100% of proceeds going to the PTA - we still have some left, so watch out for our beauty sales in the new year. So generous!

To Year 2 / Reception mum and grandmum team Shelaina and Valerie, who must have been baking for days on end to supply the gorgeous and plentiful cakes and, as well as time and talent, also covered all the cost themselves. We are so lucky to have such wonderful bakers in our midst - Shelaina has started her own baking business, so now you know who to ask next time you need a birthday cake!

To year 2 mum Sophie, who donated all of the Christmas decorations for the hall, and also loads of wrapping for the gift wrapping stall. She also was a massive help in supplying all the change for our floats on the day. Thank you Sophie and AJ Farmer!

To year 2 / reception dad Angus, our official photographer, who captured each family's festive moment in the grotto, and is so kindly providing high res images free of charge on request.

To Miss Harwood and David who gave up a large chunk of their Saturdays to open and close up the premises for us. We quite literally couldn't have done it without you!

Last but not least, to Santa (year 1 dad Iain) and his elf helper (Caroline, year 2 mum) who willingly donned crazy get ups and appeared in public to delight the crowds - you put a smile on so many faces!

And here's the proof - check out our galleries of festive Santa visitors below. If you'd like a high res image of your moment in the spotlight just email us on and let us know which is yours and we'll email you the file.

Huge thanks again everyone - seems like we really have something special going at Harris Primary ED - a very merry Christmas to you all!

Peace and love,

The FoHPED committee x

PS Winning raffle tickets - all winners will be contacted this week - congrats:
























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