Special signing for Santas

By Sue Austin | Entertainment | Published:

Understanding what all children want in their stockings this Christmas is a major requisite for all of Santa's stand-ins in grottos and festive events.

Julie Hawkins, Head of Speech and Language, takes Santa through the basics of Makaton signing

Now Santa’s little helpers are getting a little extra help understanding children with communication difficulties this Christmas.

Derwen College, in Gobowen, Shropshire, is running a signing workshop ensuring that stand-in Santas and elves have the skills to chat to all children.

The two and a half hour fun Makaton workshop will teach the essential signs and symbols to make the grotto experience magical for youngsters of all abilities.

The workshop. run by a trained Makaton tutor will be held on November 24 from 2pm tp 4.30pm, and will cost £10 per elf or Father Christmas.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate and support spoken language.

The course will teach some basics along with a handful of Christmassy signs that will help to communicate with children and youngsters with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Julie Hawkins, Derwen College’s Head of Speech and Language said: “This is the first year that Derwen College has run a Christmas Makaton workshop to offer a bit of extra help for grotto staff, so that Father Christmas is never lost for words.”

For further information on joining the Signing for Santas workshop telephone 01691 661234 Ext 230 or email

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.


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