Hordes of festive shoppers, families and county VIPs embraced the sights, smells and flavours of Christmas at Derwen College’s ‘A Festive Evening’

Kids craft activities, home-made goodies, mulled wine and a visit from Santa Claus drew in the crowds for the late night shopping event at the Gobowen college. The evening was launched in style with an official light switch on by Oswestry Mayor Cllr Sandy Best.

The students’ Christmas production of Aladdin was also performed last night – a show which brought the house down.

The specialist college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities pulled out all the stops for the Christmas fair. The college was lit up with fairy lights, and families had the chance to meet Santa as well as plenty of hands-on activities including wreath making, gingerbread man decorating and bauble making..

The evening offered plenty of Christmas shopping opportunities for guests to buy home-made jams and chutneys, artisan gifts, screen-printed Christmas cards, winter ever-green plants and hand-made Christmas cakes. Refreshments including mulled wine were also available, and the college’s Orangery Restaurant was kept busy serving up festive menus.

Commercial Development Manager Pete Evans said he was delighted that so many visitors came to support the college’s shopping and eating outlets.

He said: “It was a fabulous bumper evening with fun activities for all. It was lovely to see so many smiling faces, happy shoppers and plenty of Christmas spirit.

He added: “Derwen College shopping and eating areas are open until 20th December. A visit to our shopping and leisure areas in the run-up to Christmas is the perfect way to support buying local. We offer the chance to pick up unique gifts whilst also supporting our students in their learning.”

Derwen College, in Gobowen, near Oswestry, is a specialist college for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. The college offers students the opportunity to learn new skills in real work environments and to learn life skills which will enable them to live as independently as possible. All of Derwen College’s produce is created by students as part of their vocational curriculum and work experience.

For more information on Derwen College events www.derwen.ac.uk/events or telephone 01691 661234.