Children from the Shafetsbury Youth Club in Birkenhead had a day to remember when community champion Ian Grant from our Arrowe Park store spread some Christmas cheer by helping to arrange a magical party complete with Santa and the Grinch!
The after-school club – which looks after more than 100 youngsters aged six to 12 four nights a week – was transformed into a winter wonderland complete with giant snow globe, Santa's grotto, funfair stalls, stilt walkers and a disco.
Ian, who has formed strong links with the club and recently arranged a £1,000 Asda Foundation grant for them, said: "All the children were told was to come down in a Christmas jumper or pyjamas as we were going to have a bit of fun, that's all.
"We'd put Christmas wrapping paper over the door to the big room where the party was so they couldn't see inside. We could hear them all out in the corridor and then when the Christmas music started playing they were allowed to burst through the wrapping.
"When a child walks into a toy store and doesn't know what to say, well it was like that. Eyes were everywhere, mouths were open. It was a bit of shock to them and they were all screaming and shouting.
"It was really nice for us to do something for our community and I'm sure all the children and the volunteers loved it."
Michelle Naylor, family and community manager at the youth club, said it was a day the children would never forget.
She said: "The children were all super-excited when they arrived and it was unbelievable when they burst through the wrapping and into an amazing winter wonderland. It was absolutely phenomenal.
"It was lovely to see all the children have this amount of fun and there was no financial obligation to anyone. It was all free. They could have as many goes on the games as they wanted.
"And when the kids went up the stairs there was a big grazing board with snacks and treats and stuff which was brilliant again. In another room we had a DJ doing party games and a disco with the children.
"Santa was here the whole time but at the end we sat him in a room and they all got a gift bag with a lot of presents to take home. At this time, more than ever when people are struggling due to the cost of living crisis, Christmas spirit like this is so needed and we can't thank Ian and Asda enough for putting it on for us. The looks on the children's faces is something that we will never forget."
In the run-up to Christmas our wonderful team of community champions like Ian have been spreading Christmas cheer with some of the local good causes they work closely with by offering more support and securing Asda Foundation grants.