HUNDREDS of children from nurseries across Inverclyde will be joining in the panto fun this Christmas thanks to a kind donation.

Children in Poverty Inverclyde founder Pat Burke has stepped in to cover the cost of a special festive treat for youngsters across the area.

The charity will pay for 320 golden tickets to the Beacon's giant of a show, Jack and the Beanstalk, starring the likes of Still Game's Jane McCarry and pay for transport too.

Wellpark Children's Centre head Ann Marie Cunningham said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for all our children to get the chance to see a panto.

"It is a great gesture from Pat and we really appreciate it.

"He thinks of everything.

"We wouldn't be able to do it if he wasn't providing the transport too.

"We couldn't afford to bus all the children.

"Now all our pre school children can go together.

"It will be a lovely day out and we are looking forward to having some very happy children on the day."

Other nurseries including Bluebird Family Centre and Larkfield Children's Centre are also getting the chance to go to the show.

Children in Poverty runs a festive activity every Christmas and has been sending kids to pantomime for the last three years.

This festive season they will spend £3,000 on the panto treat thanks to donations from across the community, including Inverclyde School Choirs and Old Gourock and Ashton.

Pat said: "Christmas is an expensive time for families and panto is not always affordable for people.

"It can be difficult trying to get there as well, so we are taking care of all that."

Lisa McRuvie from the Beacon Arts Centre said: "It is fantastic that children who might otherwise not get to come along will have a chance to see the panto.

"It is great the charity are giving them the chance to see it.

"It should be a great show with our favourites like Jane returning."