Rochdale shoppers will have the chance to meet Father Christmas and this elves this weekend, when he arrives on his sleigh at Rochdale Shopping Centre.

Taking place on Saturday 1 December, from 11am until 4pm, Santa will be meeting families from across the town and handing out presents to all the children. And this year, Santa and his Grotto will be raising money for local charities Springhill Hospice and Manchester Children’s Hospital, two organisations the centre has supported a great deal over the last year.

Lorenzo O’Reilly, Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre manager, said: “We’re very excited to be welcoming Father Christmas once again to the centre. Every year he proves as popular as ever, as customers come from all over Rochdale to meet him and his elves. Last year, through the grotto alone we raised £3,000 for charity, so we really hope we can beat our target.”

“Every year we have a brilliant turnout with lots of excited youngsters queuing up to meet him, so we’re expecting to see even more littles ones with their present lists in the run up to Christmas Day.”

Springhill Hospice is a local organisation that has supported people and their families suffering from life-limiting illnesses. Manchester Children’s Hospital provides highly specialised care for children and young people across the North West as well as the UK and even internationally.

“Whilst families are visiting the grotto, we are also encouraging them to take a tag from the Rochdale Exchange Giving Tree to donate a gift to Hits Radio Cash for Kids Mission Christmas campaign,” Lorenzo added.