Sunderland-based charity Hope 4 Kidz is counting down the days to its annual festive fun day for disabled, sick and disadvantaged youngsters across the North East.
Santa’s Christmas Party, which attracted a 400-strong crowd last year, will take place at the city’s Passion nightclub on December 9.
Viv Watts, chief executive of the charity, said the free event aims to give guests the chance to escape their problems for an afternoon, with live entertainment, music and a pets’ corner.
They will also have the chance to meet Santa, who will hand out donated selection boxes, have their faces painted, enjoy a buffet before taking part in a host of party games and dancing.
“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,” said Viv.
“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 DJ.”
Meanwhile, fund-raisers held a collection at Debenhams, The Bridges, raising £1,333.
The money will be used to provide an extra 100 tickets for the party.
The shop has also agreed to be a “drop off point” for the charity’s Selection Box Appeal.
John Magee, store manager, said: “This is a fantastic amount of funds raised for Hope 4 Kidz through the generosity of our customers.
“I am sure the funds will go to good use.”
As well as supporting Santa’s Christmas Party, the Hope 4 Kidz selection box drive will allow it hand sweets and treats out to other organisations.
Last year, more than 3,000 gifts were delivered to hospitals, hospices, women’s refuges and special-needs units across the region in time for Christmas.
Anyone wishing to donate a selection box can drop them off at designated collections points at Debenhams in The Bridges, Matalan in Pallion, Ross Care Shopmobilty in The Bridges, Cestria in Chester-le-Street, Morrisons in Seaburn, and Hope 4 Kidz in Pennywell.
The deadline for donations is 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 visit www.hope4kidz.org.uk