SANTA has been very busy learning how to use Zoom to spread festive cheer – after his iconic Christmas sleigh journeys had to be cancelled.

Bolton Lions Club and Lever Rotary would usually help Father Christmas make his way through the borough on their festive sleigh, but the much-loved event will not take place this year due to coronavirus.

However, children will still be able to meet Santa, after the club arranged a new way to meet the man of the hour.

Dave Seager, a member of Bolton Lions, said: "It's tragic that we're not able to take the sleigh out – it bring a lot of joy to people, not just the children who line streets but to the members too.

"We've no idea what will be happening after lockdown on December 2 and it's just not a risk we can take.

"We came up with what we think is a unique concept of meeting Santa and his elves over Zoom.

"The community have been absolutely amazing in their response to the toy appeal, and we feel this was our way to put something back to say thank you for the support."

All children under the age of ten will be able to meet Santa and one of his elves, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

He will send a personal letter to your home, with all the details needed to join the call set up by Bolton Lions.

Mr Seager added: "It'll be a bit like a Santa's Grotto but people will be in the safety of their own home.

"I think it'll be quite magical still to see Santa over Zoom, and there will be some festive music playing too so kids will go away still feeling that excitement that they'd usually get.

"We've already had some positive feedback, people saying it's fantastic that it's an option, even though they're disappointed about the sleigh."

Visit the Bolton Lions Club Facebook page to access a booking form, and email it to to secure a call with Santa.