Trust Thamesmead held a Winter Festival to remember in Arnott Close in Central Thamesmead on Saturday 1 December.

As well as celebrating the Trust Thamesmead/Greenwich Community Food Coop’s, volunteer-led, Arnott Fruit & Veg stall’s 5th birthday, the day acknowledged the start of Winter and the countdown to Christmas, with free children’s entertainment, community stalls, carol singing, music and an appearance by none other than Santa himself!

The Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor David Grant who was accompanied by the Mayoress, opened the event, saying: “Today’s event not only highlights the importance of eating healthily and supporting local ventures but the work volunteers do in the community.”

More than 100 people visited Santa in his grotto, which was made through the hard work of parents at Arnott Pre-school’s Parents’ Forum and featured twigs and other resources they had collected as part of Forest Schools, as well as sound affects including birds tweeting and leaves whistling in the wind.

“The effort the parent’s forum put into the grotto paid off – it looked amazing!” said Trust Thamesmead’s Pre-school Manager, Tracy Norcott. “The photos don’t actually do it justice.”

Trust Thamesmead’s Community Development Officer, Lisa Ann Newton said: “There was a real buzz about the place on Saturday. It was great to see community groups and service providers in the local area coming together to make it a day to remember,” Adding “Many of the groups used it is a fundraising exercise. Money raised will help them be sustainable over the coming months.”