Brave youngsters will open Bexleyheath charity grotto

PUBLISHED: 11:57 29 October 2014 | UPDATED: 11:57 29 October 2014

Vicky Noyce with children Gabby and Harry. Picture:

Vicky Noyce with children Gabby and Harry. Picture: / Ceidiog Communications

A brother and sister whose father was diagnosed with a brain tumour will be Santa Claus’ special guests at the official opening of a Bexleyheath grotto.

Gabby and Harry Noyce, aged six and four, will officially open Santa’s grotto at Broadway Shopping Centre, on November 8.

The event is being held in aid of the Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, a charity which helped the family.

Their mother, Vicky Noyce, said: “They were absolutely thrilled when they were asked to open the grotto, although they did tell me that they’re a bit puzzled as to why they will be the star guests rather than a big TV celebrity!”

The family’s life turned upside down when foreign exchange analyst Mr Noyce suffered a seizure and collapsed after arriving in Singapore on a business trip last November.

An emergency operation the following day revealed the 35-year old had an extremely aggressive brain tumour.

Mrs Noyce explained how one ‘angel’ in particular - hospice social worker Caroline Kidd - had helped them through their darkest year.

“I really don’t know what we would have done without Caroline. She has been at our side in the most desperate moments, helping me and the children cope with the turmoil that has erupted in our family since my husband’s cancer diagnosis,” she explained.

The youngsters will unveil the fairytale grotto, all proceeds from which will go to the Abbey Wood Hospice.

Broadway Shopping Centre has teamed up with the hospice for the last five years to create the grotto and last year it raised more than £35,000 in much-needed funds which helps patients facing life-limiting illnesses, their families and close friends.

Entry to the grotto is £3 per child, which includes a meeting with Santa and a present. For more information about grotto opening times, please go to

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