Patients from Birmingham Children’s Hospital were amongst the first to enter House of Fraser’s magical Christmas grotto last night, when it opened its doors for the festive season. The youngsters, which included seven-year-old Matilda Hatton from Walsall and nine-year-old Skye Gardner from Wolverhampton, were invited to officially open the grotto in celebration that £1.20 from every ticket purchased will support the fantastic work of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

Both girls have a rare condition, Matilda is one of only a handful of children in the world to have an extremely rare genetic disorder called Sensenbrenner Syndrome and Skye has a condition called Williams Syndrome. All the money raised will go towards the charity’s £3.65 million Star Appeal to build the UK’s first Rare Diseases Centre for children, which will help transform the lives of 9,000 children at the hospital living with a rare or undiagnosed condition, just like Matilda and Skye.

Open until 3pm on Christmas Eve, House of Fraser’s much-loved winter wonderland is located on the fifth floor of the department store, next to the new Hamleys Toy Department, and every child that enters the grotto will have the opportunity to meet Santa and his elves.

Tickets cost £5 per child and entry fee includes a quality toy. Tickets can be pre-booked online at and a £1.50 booking fee per transaction applies. Alternatively tickets can be purchased on the day from the grotto reception, subject to availability.

Parminda Sahota, store manager at House of Fraser, said: “We are delighted to bring back our magical winter wonderland for another year. The grotto at House of Fraser brings back so many memories for people in the city and year after year we get such wonderful feedback from parents and children.

“Christmas is all about spreading goodwill and we are proud to be supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity during this festive period.”

Elinor Eustace, deputy director of fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to House of Fraser for supporting us in this magical way and donating £1.20 from every ticket purchased.

“The money raised will go a long way to making a huge difference to the lives of our brave children and their families as we continue our plans to improve our facilities – enabling us to treat even more children from Birmingham, the West Midlands and around the country.”

Assia Sohaib, deputy BID manager at Retail Birmingham, the business improvement district for city centre retail businesses, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting House of Fraser’s Christmas grotto once again and this year a percentage of ticket sales and profits will go to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.

“The children’s hospital does such amazing work in the city, helping kids and their families and touching the lives of so many. It’s great that we can give something back to such a worthwhile charity and support many more families in the process.”

The House of Fraser Santa grotto will offer children a truly enchanting experience this festive season. Professional photos can be purchased from £7 per print, with all net profits also donated to the charity.

The grotto will be open from 11am to 5pm every day except Saturdays when it is open from 10am to 6pm, from Monday 19 December it is open 10am to 5pm and Christmas Eve 9am to 3pm