A SCHOOLBOY has launched his very own Santa’s grotto in a bid to raise cash for a charity that saved his one-year-old brother’s life.

Billy Cook, eight, opened the grotto in his gran Sindy’s shed in Jaywick as part of a festive fundraising initiative.

He wants to raise cash for the Brompton Fountain, which helps children with life threatening medical conditions to celebrate Christmas in hospital.

Billy’s little brother Sonny-Lee received life-saving treatment at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital for a serious heart condition and spent last Christmas in hospital.

Mum Danell Cook said Sonny-Lee had major surgery last month and his prognosis has improved.

She added that she is very proud of Billy, a pupil at Brightlingsea Junior School, for his efforts to raise cash for the charity’s toy appeal.

She said: “Billy is eight and has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which makes what he’s doing even more special.

“He’s the kind of kid who just wants every other child to be happy.

“The Royal Brompton saved his little brother three times and he had his major surgery last month.

“They attempted a biventricular repair because the right side of Sonny-Lee’s heart is so small.

“There’s no guarantee it will work, but fingers crossed, it’s started to.

“Michael Rigby is Sonny-Lee’s consultant and he is Billy and his sister Bobbie-Jean’s hero.

“Billy this month decided to say thank you by running the grotto.

“He just wanted to do something special for the kids of Jaywick and Clacton.

“He roped in all the family and my 15-year-old sister Destiny Hannam played Santa - she was fantastic and deserves some sort of award.

“Santa and the elves were ringing bells and had a Rudolph attached to a car. All the kids were going nuts.

“It was amazing and the grotto looked brilliant, we had great feedback from everyone.”

Billy has now raised more than £300 for the charity and has decided to open his grotto again this weekend.

The grotto, in the shed of his gran’s house at 25 Brooklands Gardens, will be open on Saturday from 5pm to 8pm.

Each child who visits the grotto will receive a small gift and get to meet Santa.