THERE’S no place like gnome for children who need a little extra help over the festive season.
Disadvantaged and special needs youngsters across the North East are to be given a Christmas to remember, thanks to a Wearside charity and kind-hearted nightclub owners.
Good cause Hope 4 Kidz, which helps children and young people across the region, is hosting its l Santa’s Christmas party at Sunderland nightclub Passion next month.
Last year’s party saw 400 children enjoy an afternoon of festive fun.
This year more than 450 youngsters are expected to go along, all struggling to overcome long-term illness, disability and other problems such as poverty and abuse.
Passion owners Michael and Sharon Downey joined the The MetroCentre Gnomes and representatives from Hope 4 Kidz to launch an appeal for selection boxes to be given out at the bash.
Last year, as well as the party guests, more than 3,000 children’s gifts were delivered to hospitals, hospices, women’s refuges and special needs units around the region.
The free event on Sunday, December 9, aims to give kids a chance to escape their problems for an afternoon, with live entertainment from a balloon artist, the Metro Centre Gnomes and pets’ corner.
Guests will also have the chance to meet Santa, get their faces painted and enjoy a free buffet, before taking part in party games and dancing the afternoon away with a DJ.
Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “Santa’s Christmas party is one of the most popular events of the year, because it gives the children something to look forward to and a chance to escape their circumstances for the afternoon.”
She added: “Our Santa’s Christmas Party is undoubtedly the most popular event of the year because it gives young people a chance to escapes the stresses and strains of their everyday life and have fun with other youngsters in a similar situation.
“We are extremely grateful to Michael and Sharon Downey of Passion, for sponsoring the party by donating the use of the club, providing the staff and the DJ.”
Anyone wanting to donate a selection box is asked to drop it off at one of the charity’s designated collections points – Matalan Pallion; Ross Care Shopmobilty Bridges roof top car park; Morrisons supermarket in Seaburn; Debenhams Sunderland; Cestria of Front Street, Chester-le-Street; and Hope 4 Kidz Office, Pennywell – before December 18.
For more information about Hope 4 Kidz, or to attend Santa’s Christmas Party, call 534 7788, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or log on to www.hope4kidz.org.uk.