Children on a city estate had a festive treat when Santa Claus turned up to hand over an early Christmas present.
Pub landlords Nichola Buckley and husband Jason toured streets in Blurton in their Santa Sleigh to put smiles on the faces of youngsters.
They came up with the idea after they had to cancel this year’s Christmas parties for youngsters at the Lambourne Inn because of Covid-19.
They usually take place in the two weekends before Christmas but Nichola and Jason had to improvise because their pub has been shut since November 4.
They decorated their American Dodge Ram as Santa’s sleigh, and delivered 400 presents, donated by themselves to the kids in the estate.
Nichola, aged 32, said: “The parties are something all the kids look forward to so we had to do something, and it was brilliant!
“Despite everything that’s going on, the community spirit has been fantastic.”
The sleigh, decorated with lights and blasting out Christmas songs, spent four hours touring the streets, with Rudolph, elves, a snowman and, of course, Mr and Mrs Claus stopping at houses to greet children and give out presents.
Nichola said there were ‘tears of joy’ at seeing all the children smiling.
And the community was full of praise for Nichola and Jason.
One Facebook commenter said: “Well done the Lambourne for being a fantastic Santa. It has made the kids’ day and brought a smile back to our community.”
Dawn Hammersley wrote: “Well done Nichola and Jason, amazing, always thinking of others. You inspire us all with your commitment to the community we live in, what a joy you are to know.”
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The Lambourne, pictured below, is an independent pub. Nichola said: “Everything falls back to us, so it’s been really tough, we’ve hardly been open this year.”
She hopes the community spirit will help the pub to thrive in the new year. “We had pub locals dressed as snowmen, and everyone came together,” she said.
And thanks to Nichola and Jason, youngsters in the Blurton area will now have happy memories of Christmas 2020.