PROUD parents who feared they would never be able to take little ones to see Father Christmas were able to do it for the first time.

Vicki Woods thought the day may never come for her son William and daughter Evelyn to meet Santa.

William, aged four, was born after his parents had IVF at Bourn Hall Clinic, in Wickford, after being unable to conceive for a number of years.

However, less than a year after William was born, Vicki discovered she was pregnant again – naturally – and little sister Evelyn, now aged three, was born.

The two children were taken to meet Santa Claus at ‘Wickford At Christmas’ street fair at the weekend.

The 39-year-old mum vividly recalls the pain she felt when she feared she may never be a mum.

She said: “Struggling to conceive was heart breaking, it felt as though everyone was getting pregnant apart from me.

“When friends told me they were pregnant I would be really pleased for them but then I would go home and cry. It was really difficult.

“I am so fortunate to have my children and to see their excitement at meeting Father Christmas has been wonderful. It has been really special; it is a memory I will cherish.”

Joining the Chelmsford family and Father Christmas was Angela Leach, fertility nurse specialist, with Bourn Hall Clinic, in Wickford.

The clinic has sponsored Santa’s appearance at the event for the third year running.

The organisation, which has clinics in Wickford and Colchester, helped Vicki with her treatment.

Angela said: “It was heart-warming seeing William and Evelyn meet Santa.

“Christmas is all about families and at Bourn Hall we understand that it can be a particularly difficult time for those who are struggling to conceive.

“The street fair, Christmas lights and Santa’s appearance always bring a bit of early Christmas magic to Wickford and it feels lovely to have helped make that happen again.”

Wickford At Christmas is organised by a committee of volunteers, and the street fair and events attract 5,000 visitors to the town centre.

The event, held on Saturday and Sunday, raises money for the installation, repair, running and storage of the Christmas lights for Wickford.

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