Santa, singing, skating and stalls as more than 1,000 enjoy festive fun with Lancashire Adult Learning and Nelson and Colne College

Lancashire Adult Learning and Nelson and Colne College’s annual Festive Market was a grand occasion as more than 1,000 visitors came through the doors to get into the seasonal spirit on Saturday.

The Festive Market was bigger and better than ever before, and families took part in the wide range of activities available on the day, including face painting, a bouncy castle, a reindeer rodeo and an indoor ice rink.

More than 40 stalls were set up ready for business, some of which were run by Nelson and Colne College’s Hair and Beauty students who offered glitter plaits, braids and partings, while Foundation Learning students sold homemade decorations, cards and a range of festive themed sweets.

Children also met Santa and his team of merry elves in his grotto and hundreds took up the opportunity to write him a letter. The Lancashire Adult Learning team ran a number of ‘have-a-go’ taster sessions for courses run by LAL – including Lego Challenge, Holiday Languages and Arts and Crafts – and musical entertainment was provided by the Burwain Singers and 11-year-old Jessica Austin, from Barrowford.

Chris Watts, from Barrowford, said: “The Festive Market was fantastic again – we look forward to it all year. My grandson absolutely loved the Lego Challenge and could have stayed all day.

“The people are so friendly and helpful and the accessibility of everything is great. There was a very good range of stalls and activities.”

Michael Sheldon, from Burnley, said: “It’s been a brilliant event and really well planned with all of the activities on offer.

“Father Christmas was authentic and the children have had a great time with the face painting and writing a letter to Santa.”

And Brenda Lambert, from Barnoldswick, added: “I’ve come along with my two children and two grandchildren and we’ve really enjoyed the day.

“It’s been nice to do Christmas things and the children have loved it!”

Associate Principal of Lancashire Adult Learning Tracey Baron said: “I was delighted to see the huge numbers of visitors attending our Festive Market to take part in our fantastic family learning taster sessions and to enjoy the wide range of other activities and entertainment on offer.

“This year was more popular than ever, matching the bigger and better nature of the event, and I’m thrilled to hear the positive feedback we have had from members of the community who attended. I would like to take this opportunity to offer season’s greetings to all and to wish you a happy new year.”

During the Festive Market, adults also had the perfect opportunity to speak to LAL’s expert staff and pick up the latest course guide and enrol onto courses beginning in January 2019.

The guide for Spring is full of inspiration for the new year with courses to help adults across the Red Rose County develop a new hobby, learn a new skill, enhance their social life, gain employment or change career.

An Adult Learning Enrolment Event will be held on Thursday 10 January at Nelson and Colne College from 5.30pm until 7.30pm, where members of the public can sign up to leisure and part-time courses, take an English, Maths or ICT assessment, and find out the range of Higher Level qualifications that are available through the University Centres at Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College.

Nelson and Colne College is the number one college in the country for 16-18 learner achievement, while in February, Lancashire Adult Learning was named as the national Adult and Community Learning Provider of the Year winner at the TES FE Awards.

Further information about Lancashire Adult Learning can be found at www.lal.ac.uk or by calling 0333 003 1717.

For more information about Nelson and Colne College, visit www.nelson.ac.uk or call the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.

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