Finnish consul brings 'real' Father Christmas to visit from Lapland

Father Christmas at Seashell Trust with Eja Rostron, Dr Margaret Gordon, Honorary Consul of Finland Chris Rostron and the Mayor of Stockport Councillor Chris Gordon

The 'REAL' Father Christmas made a extra-special early visit all the way from Lapland to meet the students at Seashell Trust, courtesy of the Finnish Embassy.

The big man in the red suit toured the classrooms meeting students and staff from the charity which educates and cares for profoundly disabled children from across the country.

He was accompanied by Honorary Consul of Finland for Manchester Chris Rostron and his wife Eja and the Mayor of Stockport Councillor Chris Gordon.

The consul said: “When the Finnish Embassy asked us to plan a visit for Father Christmas from Lapland in the Manchester area, my wife and I immediately felt that the Father Christmas visit had to be for all children.

“We knew about the Seashell Trust and having seen the tremendous work that is being done we knew we had chosen an exceptional place. Father Christmas and everyone in the group was touched by the children’s response.”

Father Christmas wore his traditional Finnish costume to get the festive celebrations started at the trust based in Cheadle Hulme.

Rachel Barnett, senior teacher at Seashell Trust, said: “We had such a fantastic morning with Father Christmas and his friends. The students at school were so excited to see him and their faces lit up when he went into their classrooms. Father Christmas had a wonderful rapport with them and was even able to use sign language to communicate with our deaf students.

“We really are so grateful to him for coming all the way from Lapland to visit us and to all those involved at the Finnish Embassy for making this possible. It was a magical day and a great start to the festive season for everyone.”

The Mayor of Stockport Councillor Chris Gordon said: “It was an honour and privilege to accompany the 'REAL' Father Christmas from Lapland as he greeted the children at the Seashell Trust. The looks of surprise and delight on the faces of the children as he met and spoke to them was a pleasure to behold and the memory will stay with them, and me, for a long time to come.”