PEPPA Pig attracted record crowds to Palmer Gardens on Friday for its annual Christmas lights switch on.

More than 1,200 poured into the garden centre, run by the Shaw Trust, for an evening with Santa in his grotto, a convoy of motorbikers, a raffle, face painting and for the flick switch itself at the Trowbridge garden centre.

Amongst the lively atmosphere, students at the trust, which provides training and work experience opportunities to young disabled people, joined in to help raise £1,600 for the cause on the night.

Site manager Simon Harpin was blown away by how well attended the event was and how much was raised from an unforgettable night.

“It was a staggeringly good event. To get that many people come along was just fantastic,” he said.

“Everyone was feverishly excited to see Peppa Pig, who was inundated with people asking for photos and hugs. It absolutely smashed my expectations.

“I want to thank every single person who helped make this possible. Our suppliers donated 50 or so presents for our prize draw and our students were great at getting everything ready, it was just a wonderful evening.

“To raise £1,600 as well is just superb. We have 40 students on board, all hoping to learn and grow and things like this really help with the running costs and delivering what we can.

“It was great to have Mayor Deborah Halik and Town Crier Trevor Heeks come down too.

“Santa, I hear, was kept very busy too, making everyone even more excited about the run up to Christmas. I am so grateful to everyone for making this work. This is certainly the best one I have been involved with since I joined seven years ago - it was a real treat.”

The Palmer Gardens Education Programme offers individuals support with their literacy and numeracy skills, helping them gain career-progressing accredited qualifications in customer service, horticulture and food hygiene.