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Santa dispatches presents via slide at his grotto in Inverness

By Val Sweeney

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Logan Gordon collects his gifts at the bottom of the slide.
Logan Gordon collects his gifts at the bottom of the slide.

Santa has come up with an inventive way to dispatch presents to youngsters visiting his grotto in the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness.

Due to coronavirus regulations, children get their presents via a slide following a socially-distanced chat.

About 700 children have already booked an appointment with him at the grotto which will raise money for the Highland Hospice.

The first children to visit were Rosa and Lucas Fraser with their parents Leanne and Andrew.

The grotto, next to the hospice’s café, In the City, is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and runs until December 20.

The shopping centre is also inviting youngsters to seek out the reindeer hiding in the windows of various stores.

Those taking part will have the chance to enter a free prize draw, with three winners receiving a £50 Eastgate gift voucher.

Kirstin Gault, the centre’s digital and marketing executive, said while coronavirus restrictions meant traditional festive entertainment could not take place, they hoped to spread festive cheer to shoppers of all ages.

Highland Hospice fundraiser Jenna Hayden said: "We were delighted to open the Eastgate Santa’s Grotto at the weekend in aid of Highland Hospice – 180 children visited Santa and received presents from the slide off the sleigh.

"It was lovely to see magical happy faces, especially this year. Saturdays and Sundays are now fully booked so make sure to get booking for the remaining days if you want to experience our magical grotto and visit Santa."

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