Lucas, crowned as the Snow Prince

Five-year-old Lucas Collings, from Atherton, who has been crowned Snow Prince and will lead the lantern parade at the Christmas lights switch-on at The Rock, Bury
Five-year-old Lucas Collings, from Atherton, who has been crowned Snow Prince and will lead the lantern parade at the Christmas lights switch-on at The Rock, Bury
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A LITTLE BOY from Atherton will become one of Santa’s little helpers at the switch-on of the Christmas lights at a major shopping centre tonight.

Lucas Collings, 5, was crowned Snow Prince by The Rock shopping and entertainment centre, in Bury, and will be one of four inspirational children picked to sit alongside Santa at the head of the glittering lantern parade and ride through the centre in a sleigh drawn by huskies.

In addition to leading the Glitter Ball parade, Lucas, of Lovers Lane, will help switch on the centre’s Christmas lights and unveil the world’s largest disco ball in the centre of The Rock.

Lucas, who attends Beech House school in Bolton, was nominated to take part in the procession after his sister Gabriella, now two, spent six months having life-saving open heart surgery in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool last year

In addition to helping his family and looking after his sister, Lucas also took part in his family’s efforts to raise nearly £4,000 for the hospital, including doing a two-mile fun run.

Proud mum Emma, 33, said: “We’re so proud of him. It will be lovely to be able to do something for him, as Gabriella’s illness has taken up a lot of our time.

“We’ve also moved house and Lucas started at a new school where he didn’t have any friends before he went.

“Coping with three things like that in such a short space of time is very hard, but Lucas has been brilliant and we nominated him for this to show him how special he is.”