Santa’s Helper


The Hospice has run the very popular Greenwich Market Grotto for a number of years. Last year, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we also offered Virtual Zoom calls to families. This year we have been given the opportunity to run a Grotto at Danson House for the first time this December.

Grotto Dates:

Monday 29 November through to Friday 24 December

Grotto Types:

Greenwich Market Story Time with Santa (STWS):

  • From Monday 29 November to Wednesday 13 December we will be offering– a 5-minute story read by Santa to groups of up to 10 children followed by a personalised visit and gift.


Greenwich Market Christmas Grotto:

  • From Thursday 2 December to Christmas Eve (every Thursday to Sunday)
  • Families groups will have a personal visit with Santa and his Hospice Helpers.


Danson House Christmas Grotto:

  • From Thursday 2 December to Christmas Eve (every Thursday to Sunday)
  • Families groups will have a personal visit with Santa and his Hospice Helpers.


At the Hospice Virtual & Personalised Video calls:

  • From Monday 29 November to Wednesday 15 December
  • Virtual Zoom calls
  • Pre-recorded personalised video message which will be emailed to the families ahead of Christmas Day. 

Task and Activities:

  • To adopt the role and character of Santa’s Helper – welcoming families to the Grotto, assisting Santa with handing gifts to the children, keeping the magic of Christmas alive for children
  • To meet and greet families and children, whether in person or virtually, chatting, presenting gifts and posing for photographs
  • To act as an ambassador of the Hospice ensuring that the general public are dealt with in a professional and courteous manner
  • To be punctual with time keeping
  • To ensure that each child receives a magical experience and adequate time in their Grotto experience, however being mindful that the purpose of the Grotto is a fundraiser and to utilise the time to maximise income
  • This role involves weekend working and a willingness to work flexibly is required
  • To assess any aspects of health and safety risks and to inform the Grotto Coordinators
  • To have a current advanced DBS check
  • To adhere to Hospice policies and guidelines


The above list is not exhaustive, and volunteers may be asked to take on other tasks to support and assist the smooth running of the Grotto


Skills and personal qualities:

  • Ability to recreate the magic of Christmas to all visitors to all Grottos types
  • Ability to communicate clearly to children and their parent/guardian
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a busy environment
  • Willingness to work inside a small space for long periods of time (max. 6 hours)
  • Willingness to use Zoom or other video conferencing software
  • Enjoy working as part of a small team
  • Professional and courteous manner
  • Excellent time keeping

Dress code

  • Christmassy attire – to be worn at all times when on duty

Recruitment and selection

  • Applicants must be 18 years’ old
  • Must have a fully advanced DBS check
  • Closing date 30 August 2021
  • Interview dates: TBC
  • You must be able to commit to volunteering at least four six hours shifts each week from w/c 29 November – Friday 24th December with minimal absence
  • Shifts times are generally:
    • 10am – 4:30pm

Training and support

  • An induction will take place prior to the Grotto opening
  • A written brief will be sent before the first shift
  • Opportunities to shadow an experienced Santa’s Helper
  • A Grotto Coordinator will be available at all shifts

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