Published: November 9, 2010
Brave youngster to open Santa's grotto in Brent Knoll

A brave youngster from Mark has won a competition to officially open Santa’s Grotto at a garden centre in Brent Knoll later this week.

Mia Marshall, 7, has been chosen to officially open Sanders Garden World's grotto by cutting a ceremonial ribbon at 11am this Saturday (November 13th).

Manager Peter Burks told "We recently opened our Winter Wonderland displays to customers. However, we are now officially launching our Santa's grotto and we held a competition to search for a special child to come to the event as our VIP guest."

"Mia is clearly a deserving winner. She has overcome some considerable health-related challenges and her positive outlook has really impressed us."

Mia was born with a rare genetic condition called Turner Syndrome, a disorder that only affects girls and means a number of their X chromosomes are missing.

The syndrome causes physical problems such as short stature, puffy hands and feet, heart problems, high blood pressure, visual impairments and hearing difficulties.

Mia, who attends East Brent First School and enjoys riding her pony, must have growth hormone treatments to ensure that she continues to develop.

Mum Libby explained: "She is such a happy little girl, despite needing daily injections and ongoing operations. Mia never lets her condition get her down and even though she often has to spend time in hospital, she doesn’t complain at all."

"She was really excited to hear that she has been chosen to open Santa’s grotto at Sanders Garden World."

Mia will be awarded with a free pass for four people to the Winter Wonderland and four free passes to visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

Peter added: "This year, we have also chosen four runners up who will also each receive four free entry passes to Santa’s grotto. They are Alex Harvey, aged one from Highbridge, Maddie Hilyer, aged four from Berrow, Elliott Edwards, aged five and Katie Rendell, aged 10, both from Burnham-On-Sea."

To visit Santa's grotto and the separate Winter Wonderland Experience together costs £6.50 per child and includes a gift. Entry to the Winter Wonderland for adults costs £1.50 per person. This excludes a visit to Father Christmas and his grotto except when an adult is accompanying a child.


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