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On Saturday (29 November), East Midlands Trains invited 220 children and their foster parents from across Nottinghamshire to take part in a special festive Santa themed train journey to Peterborough.
The train operator, working with Nottingham City Council and Boots Plc. identified 145 children from across the county who would benefit from the festive trip that departed Nottingham station shortly after 9am.
The boys and girls were welcomed on board the specially decorate train by Santa and his elves and handed goody bags, drinks and sweeties. The children were invited to take part in a colouring competition and the winner received a family train ticket to London from East Midlands Trains and toys from Leapfrog.
As an added treat they received a surprise visit from Leicester City Football Club mascot Filbert Fox and Nottingham Panthers mascot, Paws. The Panthers also generously donated free family passes for each child attending to go to an ice hockey game.
The children were then invited to write a letter to Santa and on arrival back at Nottingham station the letters were posted in a special post box, direct to Santa’s home in the North Pole.
Back at the station, the fun didn’t end there as the children were invited behind the scenes into a secret winter wonderland grotto where they met Santa, had their picture taken with him and received gifts. They then tucked into a lunch courtesy of Morrisons, Costa Coffee, and Gourmet Kitchen.
Clive Yates, Train Service Manager for East Midlands Trains said, “The festive themed train was the idea of the Nottingham On Train Depot team who wanted to do something for the local community. They came up with this idea as a great way of working with our partners to provide our local children with a fantastic trip and some lovely memories. It’s thanks to our station partners, the local sporting teams Boots and the City Council that we’ve been able to arrange this opportunity for the children.”
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said: “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if joy wasn’t being brought to children. We’re delighted to be partnering with East midlands Trains this year to give some early Christmas cheer and to also thank our foster carers who do a fantastic job all year round to ensure the wellbeing of some of the city’s most vulnerable children.”