Photo Credits: Bill MCLAUGHLIN – ‘The Local Mag’

The red and white costume, the white beard, the bells, and the reindeers, can all only mean one thing… Christmas is upon us. But Father Christmas’ visits’ this year may be slightly different from what we are used to.  

Every year the Irlam rotary club organise an annual visit from Father Christmas for the community. This year they have had to adapt to current restrictions, and will be live streaming Santa via Facebook instead. 

Jane Williams, the president of Irlam Rotary club, wants to make sure all children know they’ll still get a visit from Mr. Claus, even if it’s not in the way they remember: 

Santa on his previous visits. Image Credit: Bill MCLAUGHLIN – ‘THE LOCAL MAG’

“We had to put our heads together and fortunately we’ve got some really really great resources and we decided to film our own Santa,

Everybody has really really been trying to keep it on a low key to surprise the children of the local area.”

The live Santa visits will take place from Wednesday 2nd of December, every weekday at 6:30pm, up until Tuesday 22nd of December.

Jane is very grateful for the community, she shared that she believes they are “truly wonderful, they know the rotary well and we’re hoping that we haven’t let them down, they know we would’ve taken Santa out on those streets if it was at all possible.”

The rotary club could not be granted insurance for the annual visits this year due to the Coronavirus restrictions.

They tried but with many of their members also being in the vulnerable category, they explained they cannot risk it.

Jane and the rotary club have been working hard to keep up to date with the current climate and have made the changes so they can still raise the money needed for their charity.  

“At the bottom of each film night, there will be a little just giving page that people can log onto and put a donation should they wish. Unfortunately we’ve not been taking any cash, but its a way we can still bring in an income.”

Children across the town cannot wait to turn on their laptops and TV’s to see Father Christmas via live-stream. Some parents however are upset on behalf of their children, as they feel the lack of face to face interaction will upset them. 

Sam Turner, a mother of two, from Cadishead, explained how every year she travels to another street for her children to see Santa and is disappointed she will not be able to this year,

“The kids look forward to it, they look out the window.  My road especially doesn’t get seen to but we make the effort to go to another street just to see him.

“Them doing it online, I think it just kinds a take a bit of the spirit away from it.”

Even though she feels disappointed, she is appreciative of what the Irlam Rotary Club is doing and she knows the community will tune in to watch and listen.

Christmas has been saved after all, and the money for the Irlam Rotary Club can still be raised. 

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