Santa and Big Elf pay Pennywell Early Years Centre a special visit thanks to Stagecoach North East

Children at Pennywell Early Years Centre got a surprise visit from Santa and one of his elves this week when they arrived at the nursery aboard a specially decorated festive Stagecoach bus.

Monday, 13th December 2021, 2:27 pm

As the festive bus arrived at the nursery, children got the chance to meet Santa who delivered early presents of toys and sweets.

They welcomed the arrival of the bus with an array of Christmas songs chosen by the children including Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney.

After meeting Santa and Big Elf, Lenny Coomber, three, said: "I can't believe Santa actually came to my nursery on a real bus."

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The children also got to sit in the drivers seat and view their nursery from the top of the bus.

Michael Agnew, also three, said: "I can see the whole world from up here.”

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Following the special visit, class teacher Nicole Hunt said: “It was a really wonderful experience and magical to see the children’s face when Santa arrived on the bus. Even the next day the children were still buzzing and talking about it.

Children from Pennywell Early Years Centre aboard the festive Stagecoach bus with Santa and Big Elf.

"I spoke with the parent of one little girl who said she wouldn’t put her toy down when she went home.”

The visit came about after the children had been involved in creating their own ‘little Pennywell’ model and had become particularly interested in making models of the buses they had seen driving around Sunderland.

After experiencing the enthusiasm of the children, Nicole got in touch with Stagecoach North East and to her delight they said they would send a bus to the nursery – although passengers Santa and his Big Elf were an added surprise.

Santa, Nicole Hunt, Big Elf and Stagecoach North East bus driver Craig Hunt.

Nicole said: “I would have been happy with just the bus and so to see Santa onboard and to deliver presents was such a fantastic gesture and was above and beyond what was expected. It was an act of kindness which made the children very happy and showed the true meaning of Christmas.”

Stagecoach North East Operations Manager, Malcolm Bell, said: “We were asked if we could provide one of our buses for the children at Christmas and it was a pleasure to allow such an event. It was enjoyed by all, and great to see the children excited for Christmas.”

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Ethan Robinson, age 3, gets to sit in the driver's seat.

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