Community group holds a Christmas parade for children in Thorney Close and Grindon

A Sunderland community group have held a Christmas parade for children in Thorney Close and Grindon – with them receiving a selection box and the chance to meet Santa.

Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:12 pm

The parade set off from the Thornbury Care Centre on Thorndale Road in Thorney Close at 3.30pm on Thursday, December 23, and made its way around the local area before finishing at the Thorney Close shops where a Christmas grotto awaits.

Along the way, children will be given selection boxes, have the chance to meet Santa, have their faces painted and get involved with a snow machine and Christmas music.

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A Christmas parade has been held for children in Grindon and Thorney Close.

Michael Patterson, who is one of the organisers, has explained where the idea for the Christmas parade came from and hopes

He said: “There are some children who have parents who can only afford to buy them just one or two presents at Christmas so getting a selection box can mean the world to them.

"We want to highlight that everyone is the same and should be able to enjoy Christmas so this is our way of giving back and trying to have a community Christmas.

"It is nice to bring everyone together and bring joy to the local area.”

Crowds lined the streets of Thorney Close and Grindon to get a glimpse of the parade.

Michael also reflected on what the reaction from the community was like last year and hopes that 2021 will be even better.

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He added: "Last year really took me back a bit, it was organised on about two days notice so we didn’t really know what to expect but as soon as we turned the first corner and saw the crowds, it was amazing.

"It was so good to see the kids faces and their excitement when they saw Santa so we knew that this year had to be bigger and better.

Children received free selection boxes as a way of bringing joy to the local community.

"Christmas lights have been put up by Sunderland City Council in Thorney Close for the first time ever so it is something great for the area.

"The reaction was fantastic and we’ve already had loads of messages of support for this year so I’m sure it will be a good turnout.”

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Children got the opportunity to meet Santa during the parade.

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The parade was organised by the Sandhill Community Group.