VIDEO: When Alice Bates met Santa Claus at Silverwood in Long Sutton

It was a dream come true for Alice Bates when she met Santa Claus at Silverwood Garden Centre in Long Sutton.

Cerebral palsy sufferer Alice (9) and her family were among hundreds of people who enjoyed the Christmas celebrations at the centre ... and every child received a free gift from Santa and Mrs Claus.

Alice Bates meets Santa's helpers. ANL-161221-110633001

Alice Bates meets Santa's helpers. ANL-161221-110633001

Alice was there with brothers Henry (8) and John (17), sister Abigail (15) and her mum and dad, Charlotte and Andy.

Charlotte said: “We all had a wonderful day and Alice said it was a dream come true as she had met Santa and the Mad Hatter all at once. She loves the Mad Hatter because he’s in Alice in Wonderland.”

The grotto is complete with five magnificent snow machines and they were a huge delight for the little girl.

Garden centre boss Jack Tyrrell, who also leads EELS (entertainment and events in Long Sutton), was delighted that visitors generously donated £300 on the day and all of the money will go to the Free Press Ten for 10 Appeal, which aims to provide Alice with a £5,500 therapy play room next year.

Jack paid tribute to the generosity of the visitors for giving to such a great cause.

He was there to video the moment Alice met Santa, and captured some moving scenes as she sat on Santa’s knee alongside her little brother, and says some onlookers were moved to tears.

• Alice has battled life-threatening health problems from the day she was born and her family are devoting the whole of 2017 to celebrating her tenth birthday, which falls on February 3.

They asked Alice to make ten wishes and this newspaper stepped in because we want make two of them come true, first with an appeal to provide the therapy play room – which Alice will need to stay well – and acting as a collecting point for birthday cards as Alice would like to receive 1,000 cards on her big day.

See Tuesday’s Free Press for more great news on the Ten for 10 Appeal.