Sensory Santa is coming to Hervey Bay

THE families of children with special needs will soon be able to take part in a bit of Christmas magic that they might have missed out on up until now.

This year Stockland Hervey Bay will have a Sensory Santa, which will have no background music, no lines or queues, no spotlights, a chair next to Santa if the child doesn't want to sit in his lap and the session will take place before the centre opens to make sure the environment is as calming and quiet as possible.

Stockland marketing manager Melissa Bampton said she knew it was an experience that children with special needs might not have been able to have before because of sensory barriers.

"It gives families that have children with special needs the chance to participate," she said.

The event will take place on December 13 between 8am and 10am and there will be five minute appointments available to ensure there is no waiting. Ms Bampton said the flash of the camera was also positioned differently so as to not go off in the child's face.

She said the photographer who was doing the photos had experience working with children with special needs.

Ms Bampton said the centre had decided to have a Sensory Santa visit before Christmas after a parent made an enquiry during last year's festive seasons.

"We had never heard about it."

Ms Bampton said it was wonderful to be able to offer the experience for the children and their families.

To make a booking, contact Stockland Hervey Bay on 4124 5422.

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