SECRET Santa were 'bowled over' when they picked up the keys to their new motorised sleigh to deliver presents throughout December.

Owners of community interest company (CIC) Secret Santa Phil and Karen Boulding and a colleague, Mark Smolinski, have been donated a virtually brand new Citroen Relay VAN from BCC Cars to use during the Christmas period.

Managing director, Phil Boulding said: “Can you imagine the look of awe and amazement on the faces of the children as we drive past? We definitely need some cheer and excitement in our lives.

"We were just bowled over when Warren contacted us to ask if we would like a NEW Citroen RELAY all sign written as a sleigh to use right across the Christmas period.

"But when the design came through, it made the hairs on my arm stand up. Talk about exciting times, we are just absolutely thrilled! – Our VAN-TASTIC sleigh looks stunning."

Secret Santa give away a thousand sacks of presents at Christmas to 1,000 struggling children in Blackburn with Darwen to help them wake up with a smile on Christmas day and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, this year is no different.

"Despite the extreme challenges of Covid-19 and our Secret Santa shop being closed for 4 months this year – We will STILL hit our goal no matter what," Phil added.

"I know BCC Citroen have been serving the local community for a long time, in fact they are celebrating their own 40th Anniversary this year, which is remarkable.

"And then Douglas Signs, another brilliant local company came onboard and donated the signage on the van. They have both made our lives so much easier, and offered us the ability to ensure that more people see us and our van so that they have the opportunity to help our local children too should they wish."

Recently, the company has had 840 selection boxes donated, enough for one each in the sacks they have left to fill, as well as donating a room full of toys by Innov8 Energy Ltd in Burnley, pushing the duo their 7,000 present target.

Group operations director at which includes the Citroen dealership in Blackburn, Warren Marsden said “I’ve happily supported Secret Santa over the years but returning to Blackburn in these very challenging times made me realise just how great a job Secret Santa do in the area.

"Being Blackburn born and bred, it’s fantastic to see what they provide to the area’s children."