Padiham’s own Winter Wonderland

Grotto goodies  Joanne Howard, Ava Howard (five) Santa and elf helper Elle Toy, at the Winter Wonderland themed family open day at Whitegate Children's Centre, Padiham.
Grotto goodies Joanne Howard, Ava Howard (five) Santa and elf helper Elle Toy, at the Winter Wonderland themed family open day at Whitegate Children's Centre, Padiham.

Homegrown star Jolie Forrest was the guest of honour at a Winter Wonderland open day in Padiham.

Little Jolie (six) who became an overnight sensation when she appeared in a TV advertisement riding a pink bicycle and singing along to the rock anthem We Built This City, rode in and cut the ribbon at the winter wonderland family open day at the Whitegate Centre in Victoria Road.

Star of a phone company tv advert, Jolie Forrest, six, officially opens the event by riding her bike through the corridors, pictured with, from left,  children's centre co-ordinator Laura Swarbrick, Deputy Mayor of Padiham councillor Kevin Datkiewicz, Jolie Forrest and head of centre Kay Burke, at the Winter Wonderland themed family open day at Whitegate Children's Centre, Padiham.

Star of a phone company tv advert, Jolie Forrest, six, officially opens the event by riding her bike through the corridors, pictured with, from left, children's centre co-ordinator Laura Swarbrick, Deputy Mayor of Padiham councillor Kevin Datkiewicz, Jolie Forrest and head of centre Kay Burke, at the Winter Wonderland themed family open day at Whitegate Children's Centre, Padiham.

Jolie lives in the town and is a pupil at Padiham Green Primary School. Jolie and her family have also used services on offer at Whitegate.

After the ribbon cutting around 300 visitors were given the chance to browse a variety of stalls, visit Father Christmas in his grotto, take part in a reindeer hunt and tour the building, which had a £100,00 extension added in the summer thanks to a grant from Lancashire County Council.

Head of Centre Kay Burke said: “The new first floor extension means we will be able to offer places to more two and three-year-olds into the nursery. We also have space now for a literacy and numeracy room for adults to add to the services we provide.’’

Over the past few years the centre has evolved to provide a full range of services to families in Padiham, from pregnancy to age five. The centre now also has a midwidery and health visitor service.

Mrs Burke added: “The open day was our way of thanking families for all their support and also to show them what we now have on offer.

“This has been a vision at the centre that continues to grow. We want to offer as much help, support and guidance to the families in the community of Padiham as we can by providing as many services as possible under one roof.’’