Father Christmas delivers presents for Highgate kids

Santa delivering the goods

Santa delivering the goods - Credit: Brookfield Estate TRA

With a "ho ho ho" Santa left his grotto to deliver gifts to children in Highgate Newtown as London went into a tier 4 lockdown.

Carrying a big sack of presents, Father Christmas made his rounds on Sunday (December 20).

The Brookfield Estate Tenants & Residents Association applied for funding for the visit, and for a tree following a “dreary year” marred by the Covid pandemic 

The idea was to ensure that all children up to the age of 11 would have a gift. There was also a food hamper for families with children of the same age group. 

A tree, complete with lights was put up on the intersection in St Albans Road on December 11.

The government announced emergency tier 4 restrictions starting on Sunday with families encouraged not to leave their homes.

Jane McWilliams, chair of the TRA, said: “Sadly as we hit tier 4 hours before the grotto, Santa, myself and my son George did a doorstep delivery.

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“The Santa drops went really well. It was a massive hit with kids and parents alike. Seeing the smiles on the entire families faces was truly lovely.”

Jane approached Highgate councillor Anna Wright with the idea for a tree, who suggested funding through a community infrastructure levy grant, which is cash released from new developments. 

Funding was approved through Camden’s Tenants Participation Team for special project grants.

Jane added: “After having such a bad year globally and not being able to organise our usual trips and events, I wanted to put a bit of Christmas magic in to our little community.

"I came up with the idea of a tree for the street for all of our residents to enjoy and to boost morale, which has been flagging for months. 

“Then I thought the grotto would be a little bit of magic for them after a dreary year. It was a wonderful couple of hours.”

Children were excited to receive their gifts

Children were excited to receive their gifts - Credit: Brookfield Estate TRA

Cllr Wright, Camden Council's communities chief, said: “When Jane got in touch to say they wanted to do something to lift community spirits I just knew we needed to make this happen.

"As a local councillor I was able to help get the permissions and support from Camden and find some funding. The residents did the rest.

"The tree and gifts have shown that by working together communities can light up even the gloomiest of Christmases. Well done to all involved and Happy Christmas.”