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Festive market ‘with a difference’ helps spread Christmas cheer

Sefton residents turned out in force to enjoy a Christmas market with a difference in Southport at the weekend.

The event at the New Leaf garden centre on Rotten Row featured festive goods created by clients of the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions. They include people with support needs due to disability, age or mental health conditions.

Organisers say there was a lot of interest in the seasonal items on offer, all produced by service users at New Leaf and the New Directions North Hub on Mornington Road in Southport town centre.

Gift ideas ranged from wooden tea light holders, twig trees and table decorations to slate signs and bughouses.

Unusual handcrafted items included wooden angels, snowmen and soldiers, and even hand-knitted Christmas tree decorations.

Meanwhile, customers were also able to choose from a range of yuletide plants, flower arrangements, wreaths and grave pots, all prepared by the green-fingered team at New Leaf.

Refreshments and a raffle were also on offer at the market, which was organised by the same team that helped the New Directions show garden to win a gold medal at this summer’s Southport Flower Show.

New Directions Business Development Manager, Dave Hughes, commented:

“Everyone at New Leaf worked very hard to prepare for the Christmas market, so we are all delighted that it has proved to be such a success again this year.

“Customers were very complimentary about the range and quality of the goods on sale.

“And as well as having the chance to choose from the wide variety of unusual festive items on offer, they have the satisfaction of knowing that the money they spent will be ploughed back into providing more resources and opportunities for our clients,” added Mr Hughes.

The official Southport Christmas Market on Chapel Street continues to run until December 17.