Santa parade to raise funds for charity supporting people with rare blood disorder

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A Santa parade on Sunday, November 29, will finish at Santa’s grotto in Friars Square, Aylesbury, opening it officially to shoppers.

There will be a £3 entry charge for one child and a £5 charge for two or more with all proceeds will be going to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.

Pulmonary hypertension is raised blood pressure within the pulmonary arteries, which are the blood vessels that supply the lungs. It’s a serious medical condition that can damage the right side of the heart, making the heart less efficient at pumping blood around the body and getting oxygen to the muscles.

Stanley Smith, from Aylesbury, was born with this progressive and incurable condition in 2012, at 3 months old he was rushed to Great Ormond Street where after tests he was diagnosed. To help Stanley in day to day life he must receive several drugs administered through box which is wired to his lungs every evening, which takes around 45 minutes. Pulmonary hypertension is incredibly rare and affects around 6000 people in the UK.

The grotto will be open every Wednesday to Sunday from November 29 until December 13 and then open every day from December 14 until Christmas Eve. For opening times and more information, please go to

Last year the grotto raised nearly £6,000 for Scannappeal the centres charity of the year 2014. This money was used to help buy advanced life support equipment for the neo-natal and maternity units at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for special care babies.

Friars Square will also be opening for late night shopping every Thursday in December and from the 21st- 23rd December.

The centre will be offering free parking for shoppers from 4.30pm on the late night Thursdays.

Andy Margieson, Centre Manager at Friars Square said: “We’re delighted to be raising money for such a worthwhile cause to help Stanley Smith, a wonderfully brave little boy. We hope that the money raised from the grotto will go towards find a cure for this condition.”