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More than 90% of children are excited about Christmas despite the Pandemic

MORE than 90% of children are excited about Christmas this year despite the impact of Coronavirus, an NSPCC survey reveals. As the Pandemic continues to affect all our lives, many families across the country will be spending Christmas very differently this year. Government restrictions mean many children won't be able to attend carol concerts, pantomimes and visit Santa's grotto like they normally would. Some also may not be able to spend Christmas day with loved ones, and adults may be worried that Christmas just won't have the same magic for the youngest members of their families this year.

Despite this, a YouGov survey conducted for the NSPCC's Letter from Santa Campaign has revealed that 92% of children aged 6 to 12 years old are excited for Christmas this year with 35% of those who celebrate Christmas saying the Christmas moment they were looking forward to the most was putting up the Christmas Tree and decorations. Of these children who celebrate Christmas,85% of children said they had written a letter to Santa, but only 64% of children had received a letter from Santa. When asked why they liked receiving it 64% said it was because it made them excited that Santa knows about them and what they've been doing.

To help keep the magic of Christmas alive this year, parents, grandparents and other family members can order the children in their life an NSPCC personalised Letter from Santa to be delivered from the North Pole straight to their door. Watching a child's eyes light up when they find out that Santa knows who they are and all the good things they've achieved over the year can be an amazing experience for the whole family.

The letter will be delivered straight to their door and you can pick from 8 fun, festive designs including:- 'Baby's 1st Christmas,' 'The Elf Cup Final' and 'Santa's Toy Workshop.' You can personalise these designs with details such as the child's favourite activity, an achievement from the year and the name of a friend or family member. Letters are available in English and Welsh and there is a suggested donation of ₤5 per letter to help the NSPCC be here for children.

Other popular Christmas moments that children are looking forward to include eating Christmas dinner and playing games with their families. Zoe Matthews from the NSPCC's Fundraising Team said:- "This survey shows that, despite the Pandemic and the challenges facing families across the UK, children are still full of the festive spirit and looking forward to Christmas. It's been an incredibly tough year, and we know that Christmas is also going to be a difficult time for so many, but it's important to remember that this can still be a wonderful and special time of year. There are few better ways to mark the beginning of the festive period than by ordering a Letter from Santa for a special child in your life and donating to the NSPCC. Not only will you bring great joy to the lucky recipient you will also help the NSPCC continue to be here for those children who need our help and support."

Although many children are excited for Christmas, for some home is not a safe place and there will be many who need help and support, even on Christmas day. No child has been left unaffected by the Pandemic and NSPCC frontline staff have heard from thousands of children who have found the lockdown and localised restrictions difficult, with many struggling to cope due to School closures, limited access to wider support networks and the difficulties around home learning. Other vulnerable children have faced increased risks at home and after months of being trapped inside with their abuser, these children may now also have to face the prospect of spending a long period of time at home with them during the Christmas period. Ordering a Letter from Santa and making a donation will help the NSPCC continue to be there for children when they need help.  Order your letter online by the 15 December 2020 to receive it before the big day. You can order your letter here:- NSPCC.Org.UK/Christmas-Is-On.

Gauselmann group opens up brand new Merkur Slots venue in Southport

WHILST Covid19 put the brakes on the gaming industry in the UK for the majority of 2020, many venues are now reopening again after lockdown 2 to the public. Milton Keynes based Praesepe, part of the Gauselmann group, has gone 1 step further by investing in the high street, launching their Merkur Slots brand nationally. Their brand new Southport venue on London Street will open to the public as of today and create 8 to 12 jobs. Speaking about the new venue, Mark Schertle COO, said:- "This is a very exciting time for the Merkur Slots brand. So many Companies haven't survived the effects of the Pandemic and we are delighted to be able to give customers a brand new experience in locations where we don't currently have a presence, such as Southport. It means a lot to us to be part of kick starting the high street again and supporting the local Community with new job opportunities. We are hoping to create at least 180 jobs by the end of this year, with the new venue now open and planned."

Merkur Slots provides the latest in digital venues. All machines are fully digitised and customers will be able to enjoy all of their favourite games, as well as the latest in Blueprint games.  All venues are Covid Secure, with Gauselmann group implementing an:- "Open, clean, safe" campaign which focuses heavily on ensuring safety precautions are in place and everything is Communicated effectively with customers, via social channels and the official website. During lockdown 2 all staff were further trained in preparation to open again. The senior management team will continue to heed official Government advice and will regularly monitor, and adjust the plan, over the Coming weeks and months. Safety measures inside the venue include:- Perspex screens, full machine cleans between customers, sanitise stations, masks and social distancing measures."

Gauselmann group plans to open many more Merkur Slots venues across the UK this year. Mark continued:- "We look forward to welcoming customers back to gaming once more and we feel we have a unique edge in that we can offer them brand new, modern venues that have been designed with social distancing in mind. Customers can game with total confidence. Thank you to all our staff who have worked tirelessly to get the venues up and running ahead of opening."

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