FESTIVE elves have been keeping an eye on young pupils at schools in Seaham in the run-up to Christmas.
Aided by PCSOs Kerri Bassom and Carole Hutton, Santa’s helpers have crept into six primary schools and six nurseries in the town to make sure the youngsters are being good.
The duo introduced the toys to help them deliver an anti-bullying message to Reception and Key Stage one pupils at the schools.
They have adopted a “softer” approach at the nurseries, visiting with a hand-knitted elf to tell the tots the Christmas story and talk about the police.
PCSO Bassom said: “We have rolled out the “Elf on a Shelf” concept, already popular with some parents, to encourage children to behave well and treat other people with kindness, so that they really deserve their Christmas gifts.
“It involves a “magic” elf turning up in December to ensure children are behaving themselves. Before the elf disappears to report back to Santa, staff ensure it gets up to mischief so that the youngsters believe in its powers.”
This week the officers have been revisiting the children to present each of them with selection boxes and other sweets donated by councillors Sonia Forster and Kevin Shaw in conjunction with Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores in the area.
There is also a competition in which the children are asked to write down what they think gives the elf its magic. Santa will pick the prize winner.
The elves were donated by Merry Elfmas and tiny police jackets were made by the Teddywears company at a reduced cost, while Seaham Boot Camp also donated money to the venture.