Northern Ireland news

Co Derry charity Christmas event aiming to raise more than £100,000 for 12 good causes

A charity Christmas event being held in Co Derry, which is being organised by the Specialist Group, is aiming to raise more than £100,000 for 12 good causes
Marie Louise McConville

A charity Christmas event being held in Co Derry is aiming to raise more than £100,000 for 12 good causes.

The Specialist Group is this week putting the final festive touches to its Project Santa event, which will take place this weekend, Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4.

The group's headquarters on the Coleraine Road in Maghera is set to be transformed into a `Secret Christmas Winter Wonderland' and all proceeds from the two-day event will go to charity.

Held indoors and with free parking on site, the event will see visitors be able to meet Santa and receive a commemorative digital photo with Santa, enjoy live entertainment, experience a welcome from Disney and Pixar characters and have unlimited access to the Christmas Wonderland, which includes an adventure playground, rides and attractions, farm machinery displays, bouncy castles, soft play and carousels.

Children will also receive a goody bag from Santa and visitors will be given a complimentary meal voucher for an indoor food fayre catering for a variety of tastes courtesy of Arbutus Catering

All the funds raised will be divided between Hope Foodbank, Maghera Cross Community Link, Steps, NI Chest Heart and Stroke, The Alzheimer's Society, Marie Curie, Action for Cancer, Charis Integrated Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mental Health UK, Air Ambulance NI and Sands.

There will also be a charity raffle. Among the prizes is the chance for someone to have their mortgage paid for a year, a family holiday for four, 1,000 litres of home heating oil, a petrol go-kart, a laptop and £500 voucher for petrol or diesel.

Ciaran O'Hagan, who heads Specialist Group, said: "We are delighted to be able to invite you and your families back to Specialist Group HQ and become a part of the magic as we get ready for Christmas the Specialist way.

"This amazing event will run for two full days so that as many people as possible get to experience all we have in store," he said.

"We're so passionate about supporting these charities and the wonderful work they do, but we also want to ensure everyone who attends Project Santa has the best possible experience, so we're working around the clock to ensure this event is delivered flawlessly.

"If you're being selective about what events to attend this Christmas, we can guarantee you won't be disappointed by this one".

Tickets for the event, which will be presented bySarah Travers and Grassmen, are available at

Raffle tickets can be purchased online at or by contacting a member of the Specialist Group team.

Northern Ireland news