A Portadown councillor has praised the work of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s officers following confirmation the Silent / Relaxed Christmas event is to return this festive season.
Typically, this event allows children with sensory processing challenges to have a magical experience with their families meeting Santa and Mrs Claus in a more relaxed and calming setting.
Speaking about the issue at the monthly council meeting, Councillor Julie Flaherty described such an event as “really important” for the families involved.
“Some will not be surprised that I did want to pass comment on the Relaxed/Silent Christmas event,” said Councillor Flaherty.
“This really is a very important event and I want to encourage you Lord Mayor, very strongly, to attend this year and, when you do so, do so with your whole heart.
“The impact this event has on children and families with special needs and requirements really is immense and should never be underestimated.
“I also want to note the effort that goes in to these events by both staff and volunteers. It really is a credit to them.”
The UUP councillor went on to emphasise just how important events like these can be.
“I still get pictures from people from 2018/19 and maybe that is the only photo they have of their children with Santa at Christmas,” she said.
“Christmas memories are a very specific moment in time. Some of us have very few and this event does create precious memories for these families so I just want to say thank-you for this. I really appreciate it and known these families will too.”
Thanking Councillor Flaherty for her comments, Lord Mayor Paul Greenfield said he was “certainly looking forward to attending that event”.