03 Dec Stars of movies meet children
STAFF at a North East shopping centre welcomed three families to a Christmas lights switch-on event so their disabled youngsters could meet stars of the big screen.
The VIP guests, who have been supported by The Chronicle’s Sunshine Fund, visited Cramlington Town Square last Saturday night for the start of the town’s calendar of festive events. As well as a visit from Santa Claus, youngsters met with larger-than-life characters from Ice Age and Frozen inside a snow-filled giant igloo before the lights were turned on. The special Sunshine Fund invite was arranged by Paul Wighan, who works at Manor Walks Shopping and Leisure in security and is a keen supporter of the charity, which supports disabled children living in the region.
One of the youngsters who attended the event was five-year-old Nathan Main, of Ashington, who has cerebral palsy and last year received a special chair from the fund to help him sit upright.
Mum Tracy said: “Nathan absolutely loved it and meeting the characters really put a smile on his face, especially Olaf the Snowman from Frozen.
“Due to his condition, there aren’t many places we can take him where he really enjoys himself and so it meant so much to see him so happy.”
Hosted by Radio Northumberland in partnership with Manor Walks, Cramlington Town Council and Active Northumberland, the event also featured festive food and drink, a glowing lantern display and music from performers Joe Allan, Louise McCall and Northburn Primary School Steelband.
Caroll Patterson, fund director, said: “Thank you so much to the staff at Manor Walks Shopping centre for inviting some of our families to attend their Christmas lights switch-on. It was lovely to see the children having fun meeting the characters from Frozen.”
Throughout the remainder of the festive period, visitors to Manor Walks can enjoy further events, starting on Sunday with the arrival of Santa’s reindeers and the cast of pantomime Sleeping Beauty, running at the Phoenix Theatre.
For details on all of the attractions, visit the official Facebook page, follow @ManorWalks on Twitter or visit manorwalks.co.uk.