A POLLOK toy bank transformed its hub into the North Pole to allow a special guest to send a message to children in the area.

Santa Clause himself paid a socially distanced visit to G53 Together to spread festive cheer on Friday.

The group, a collective of organisations and volunteers established to support the community during the pandemic, held live Facebook event featuring Santa, stories and songs to help the community to get into the festive mood.

The event took place due to worries about children missing out on being able to meet Santa in person at a grotto and being able to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

Read more: Glasgow schools benefit from pupils' generosity in toy bank drive

Deputy council leader Councillor David McDonald, who had been working with Santa on the preparations for the event, said: "Santa contacted me a few weeks ago. He told me that he was really going to miss getting to meet all the kids and their families, but he wanted to find a way to do that while making sure that everyone stayed as healthy and safe as they could be over this special time of the year.

"So, Santa and I got to work on making a plan. With the help of the staff and volunteers at SWAMP Creative Media we managed to put together a magical event for families across the community.

"I want to thank SWAMP for their technical help, creative skills and for a little sprinkling of fairy dust."

G53 Together, which has joined forces with the Glasgow Times Bank on Us toy appeal to help make sure no child goes without a gift on December 25, allowed families to send in a request for a "shout out".

St Nick then recorded lots of specially personalised video messages to children throughout greater Pollok.

Santa said: "“Hohoho! It was wonderful getting to spend some time with all of the children and their families across greater Pollok.

"I’ve been looking at my list, and this is the first year where nobody is on my naughty list.

"It was so much fun getting to listen to the special songs and stories.

"So thank you to my elf Kit, the Village Storytelling Centre and the wonderful Voice Project choir."

He added: "It was a very welcome event as I'd been working so hard on catching up on my work.

Read more: Glasgow's Spirit of Christmas helps East Dunbartonshire families

"This year, one of my toy making machines has broken down and that means I might not be able to give everyone everything they wanted, but I'm sure they will still have a Christmas day that is filled with love, fun and happiness."

Thankfully, Santa also offered staff at the centre some helpful tips on how to deliver toys as the charity prepares to distribute gifts from Glasgow Times readers to families in need.

Hundreds of donations have been received at toy banks throughout the city, while cash donations totalling more than £10,000 were spent purchasing items for youngsters last week.

These toys will be making their way to charities and toy banks throughout the city this week ahead of the big day.

The group's next event for families will be the G53Together Family Christmas Party on December 23 at 6pm.

The event will be held online and more details can be found on their social media page.