Pictured: Santa, Loraine Jones and Laura Diffey in Santa’s Workshop in The Mall Blackburn

The Mall Blackburn teamed up with Father Christmas and a whole host of retailers to treat residents of Blackburn’s Wish centre to a magical day out.

Seven children, along with their four mums, visited from the centre, which is a safe haven for people that have suffered from domestic abuse. It is run by the Blackburn & Darwen District Without Abuse charity.

The day started with a free visit to The Mall’s Santa’s Workshop, which was funded by the management company Imagination Entertainments and A Princess To Your Door.

Following this, everyone was treated to lunch at Muffin Break, where they were each presented with a sack of presents donated by kind-hearted retailers.

Primark donated some Christmas Eve pyjamas to each of the children and Shoezone gave bed socks to everyone, including the mums!

Claire’s Accessories sent Paw Patrol figures for the little boys and beautiful hair bows for the girls while CeX on Northgate donated a Christmas DVD for each child.

Poundworld, Thortons and B&M all donated delicious chocolate treats and Debenhams gave chocolate bricks and a Hatchimal mini.

The Entertainer contributed with colouring books and crayons and the Newspaper Stand in Blackburn Market provided all the children with an activity book.

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without an advent calendar and Poundworld Plus donated one to each child along with a flask. In addition The Octagon in Blackburn Market presented each child with their very own teddy bear!

Last, but not least, The Mall donated £50 worth of Gift Cards to the families.

The visit came after Imagination Entertainments offered a free group visit and management at The Mall asked its nominated charity for 2017, Cash For Kids, to recommend someone that deserved a treat this Christmas.

Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “It is all to easy to get lost in preparing for the festive season and not give a second thought to those less fortunate.

“When the company managing our Santa’s Workshop offered to donate a free group visit to a deserving cause we decided to go even further and speak to retailers in The Mall and Blackburn Market to make it even more special.

“As ever, we were inundated with kind donations and each child received an amazing sack of presents! Of course, we didn’t leave the mums out and they each received a £10 Mall Gift Card and a pair of gorgeous fluffy bed socks!

“It was wonderful to see the little children smiling after what has been an undoubtedly terrible year for them and I am sure the amazing people that run the Wish centre will ensure they all have a lovely Christmas.”

Lynette Hatton, from Blackburn & Darwen District Without Abuse, said: “I want to sincerely thank everyone at The Mall for the generosity everyone showed towards the residents and children.

“The feedback was amazing and they all really enjoyed themselves. Even more they got the opportunity to connect as a family and do something special to make positive memories.

“It is a difficult time for the families due to being away from loved ones but this has shown they are very much part of a community in Blackburn and are safe and secure here.”

Please note, none of the children or parents could be quoted or photographed due to safety reasons.

Santa’s Workshop is being managed by Imagination Entertainments and A Princess To Your Door. 

Santa’s Workshop is open every day until Christmas Eve. Tickets are £6.95 per child and can be purchased at Santa’s Workshop opposite JD Sports or online here (online booking fee of £1 applies). The experience will last approximately 15 minutes and parents are welcome to capture the moment on their own cameras.

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