MORE than a thousand people headed to a charity’s annual Christmas market, which was decorated with fairy lights, snowflakes and mistletoe.

The festive market was held at Acorn Village, a charity for adults with learning disabilities, in Clacton Road, Mistley, on Saturday, November 23.

During the magical event, visitors had the chance to meet Father Christmas to tell him what was on their Christmas list and browse through a range of seasonal stalls selling gifts to put under the Christmas tree.

There were also rides, a steam engine, and performers for a host of guests to enjoy.

As well as this, there was a celebrity guest appearance from Hollyoaks and Holby City actor Jeremy Sheffield.

This year the charity’s Christmas market raised a record-breaking £12,000 for Acorn Village.

Kate Williams, who works for Acorn Village, said: “We had more than 1,000 people turn up to support the charity event, a record amount.

“Celebrity supporter Jeremy Sheffield came for the day and election candidate Sir Bernard Jenkin popped in briefly too.

“A huge thank you to every single person who gave their time to help raise money for adults with learning disabilities, from the performers, the stalls, the rides, the steam engine, the NAFAS flower association.

“There truly was something for everyone.

“The stars of the day, as always, were the incredible volunteers, a team of more than 100 were onboard to raise funds.”

The volunteers ran stalls, held a BBQ and worked on the magical Grotto as well as made lots of tea and helped with parking.

Kate added: “A special shout out to the fabulous Essex Cosplayers who brought a touch of magic to the day.

“Thank you to all the members of the public who came and supported.

“You made a record breaking £12,000 before costs.

“It was just incredible.”

Acorn Village runs its Christmas market every year, and is expected to hold it again in 2020.

  • The other candidates running in the Harwich and North Essex constituency are Michael Beckett, Lib Dem; Stephen Rice, Labour; Peter Banks, Green; Tony Francis, Independent; and Richard Browning-Smith, Independent.