By Andrea McCallum
SANTA surprised a group of special needs school children yesterday when he arrived at their Christmas party on a fire engine.
Little Saint Nick greeted the 60 kids from schools across Edinburgh with the fire engine’s sirens blazing and lights flashing to deliver presents.
And he was even welcomed with the sound of ‘Jingle Bells’ which filled the air outside the Hilton Hotel near Edinburgh Airport.
The kids had been invited by the Edinburgh Airport Disabled Fund who holds a Christmas party every year and buys presents for all the kids.
Mike Penman, treasurer for the fund, said the charity had been holding the event for more than 25 years.
He said: “We invite the 10 special needs schools from across Edinburgh every year and the fundraising is done through collection boxes which can be found in the airport.
“We have raised about 5,000 pounds this year and ask the teachers what the kids would like for Christmas and make a big list of toys.
“Anything we can do to make these kid’s lives a little bit better is why we do this – it’s a great event to get all the kids together and have fun.”
Every year a group of children from each of the city’s special needs schools attends the party which goes ahead thanks to the BAA Edinburgh Airport Fire Service, Hilton Edinburgh Airport and the Edinburgh Airport Disabled Fund.
The kids were treated to clowns, music, a magician and a disco before sitting on Santa’s knee whilst he handed out dolls, toys, cars and games.
Jane Kaczynski, a teacher at Braidburn School, said: “They had a fantastic time and were really excited about coming along.
“It’s great for them to come together with other children from the Edinburgh schools.
“It’s just such a lovely event for the charity to put together and it’s one of the highlights of the calendar for the school.
“The children were so excited when they found out they were going to see Santa and they couldn’t wait for him to arrive.”