Santa visits Maybury Gardens

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Hundreds of youngsters found their way to Maybury Gardens in Sandwick to get their Christmas Lists in to Santa.

This is the third year that Santa has visited Maybury Gardens, an evening on the Stornoway calendar that is not to be missed.

The evening was kicked-off with the switch-on of the Christmas lights, before Santa arrived in style.

Alison Carty, of Maybury Gardens, said: “Santa arrived on a tinsel flashing bike. The good weather on Thursday meant he was able to cycle all the way from Lapland. “

Through the evening Maybury Gardens also collected funds to be donated to Bethesda Care Home and Hospice, which by the end of the evening came to £600.

David Carty, of Maybury Gardens, said: “The evening went really well, it was the best year ever. It’s the third year we’ve done it and it’s really grown in those years. It’s gone from 60 kids coming to see Santa in the first year, to 160, to 240 this year, so it’s really grown in popularity which is great, as we’re raising more money for Bethesda.

“We gave away 240 advent calendars to kids that came along. It’s becoming more of a permanent fixture, people are telling us that they are starting to look forward to it.

The evening’s festive fun featured carol singers, dancers, a ceilidh band, fireworks, mulled wine, hot chocolate and baking and mince pies.

Alison said that she bought every bottle of mulled wine from the Co-op for the evening, which took a month to plan and set up.

David continued: “It’s something that we like doing now to say thank you to our customers, just to appreciate the customers new and old who have supported us all year.”

“The money we were able to give to Bethesda just shows the amount of local generosity. I think being a local charity it’s close to everyone’s heart, and that’s why we can raise so much, because so many people have connections to Bethesda. We support our local charities; you never know when you’ll need them to support you.

Fundraiser for Bethesda D. R. Macdonald said: “We appreciate the fundraising efforts of Maybury Gardens, not just this year, but over the past years as well.”