A Trip To See Santa Claus
With Christmas almost upon us, many of our young people are increasingly excited at the prospect of Santa Claus coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve.
So when we found out that Santa was going to be doing an impromptu visit to Mill Gate shopping centre in Bury we jumped at the opportunity for some of our pupils to see Santa and his helpers before the big day.
When we went into his grotto we were met with yuletide spirit and the smell of Christmas trees.
Each pupil was able to meet Santa and receive a gift. For some the experience was so overwhelming Santa and one of his elves decided to come out from his grotto to say hello and give one young person a gift.
David Reid, CEO of Birtenshaw Charity, said: “Many people take so many simple and traditional things in life for granted.
“At this time of year, taking children to see Santa is almost a given for everybody. Although, for children with a learning disability, especially those with Autism, such a visit can prove traumatic and distressing due to the noise, unfamiliar surroundings and unusual looking character involved.
“Children with Autism are often very frightened by men with beards (not to mentioned the bright red outfit).
“However staff at the Mill Gate Shopping Centre went out of their way to ensure that pupils from Birtenshaw School could enjoy a visit to Santa just like any other child.
“In fact, the great man himself came out of the shopping centre to met the pupils where they felt safer. He even got down on the ground to talk to a particularly frightened child.
“In the end all the pupils were able to enjoy a visit to Santa just like any other child.”
Birtenshaw School would like to say a big thank you to Santa and his Elves for making the long journey from the North Pole, and thank you to the Mill Gate shopping centre for the inclusive experience. The trip was a huge success.
We wish Santa and his reindeer a safe journey as he travels around the world.