Angels trot along to park's Santa's grotto

Stockeld Park is partnering up with local charity Autism Angels to provide special trips to see Santa in the run up to Christmas and has also raised £2,493.45.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 3:10 pm
Updated Monday, 21st November 2016, 3:13 pm
Stockeld Park Autism story From left Lynn Westerman Holt of Autism Angels, Sarah Murray , Marketing Manager Stockeld Parrk, Santa, Pedra and Sarah Shearman , founder Autism Angels , Caz Walker , Lauen Walker, volunteers sat 19th nov 2016

The themed family attraction near Wetherby has teamed up with its chosen charity for 2016, which uses horse therapy to help children on the Autism spectrum, to open its award winning Santa’s Grotto to autistic children and those who struggle with crowds.

Sarah Murray, sales and marketing manager at Stockeld Park, said: “Christmas is a very special time of year for families and we want to ensure that all children can enjoy a magical experience with a visit to see Santa.

“We have great disabled access and working with Autism Angels helps us to draw on their knowledge and fantastic experience to reach even more children in our communities.”

She added: “They are a wonderful team of people and we are proud to have them as one of our chosen charities for 2016.

“We have been raising funds throughout the year, with our generous visitors, and we are proud to be donating £2,493.45 to enable them to continue with their excellent work.”

Youngsters will be met by elves and taken to meet Santa in his luxury log cabin between 9.30 and 10.30am on Saturday December 3 and 10 – giving them exclusive access before the park is open to the general public.

The sessions are available to any child who would struggle to access public sessions due to a variety of reasons, be those cognitive, physical or sensory. And the experience will be tailored to the children’s needs with reduced waiting times and lower music volumes. Families will also be assisted by Autism Angels’ volunteers to make their visit as special and successful as possible. To book a place please email [email protected]

Kearby-based Autism Angels, founded by Shara Shearman, uses horses as therapy in its work with children and families.

Lynn Westerman Holt, events and fundraising manager at Autism Angels said: “We are extremely grateful to Stockeld Park for their kind and generous support.

“The money will be used to expand the charity’s mentoring programme which uses horses to connect with and empower local children who are on the autism spectrum, as well as those with other additional needs or from disadvantaged or vulnerable backgrounds.

“We have enjoyed working closely with the team at Stockeld Park over the past three years, delivering successful fundraising events like The Sundown Walk, training staff in how to support and communicate with those on the autism spectrum and advising on ways in which their facilities can be more accessible to those with additional needs.

This is the third year that we have run the accessible Santa’s Grotto sessions with them and we are planning to make them a great success once more.”