AN ANNUAL giveaway to a special needs school has become the "best day of the year" for a family of ice cream workers.

Getting into the ice cream business a decade ago, John Watkinson tirelessly delivers treats from his 'Superices' van, along with his wife Nanjo, for nine months of the year.

Around six years ago, John had an experience with people apologising for special needs children in a social setting, which left a lasting impact on him.

He felt that these children needed to be appreciated and celebrated, and not apologised for, so made a commitment to use his last business day of the year to do something out of the ordinary to make their day.

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St Helens Star: Jack handing out free ice creams at HalloweenJack handing out free ice creams at Halloween (Image: John Watkinson)
After following through on his promise, John and Nanjo have been delivering free ice creams to children at the special educational needs school at Lansbury Bridge, Parr, every summer.

Because of the joy that this brings the children, John said that this has become an annual tradition and this year, three of John's children, Jordan, Jack and Jasmine, got involved in the fancy dress edition at Halloween.

Jordan is the owner of 'JJ's Ices' and has had a popular start to the ice cream business after launching around Moss Bank, Billinge, and Garswood earlier this year.

St Helens Star: The pupils are said to absolutely love the giveawayThe pupils are said to absolutely love the giveaway (Image: John Watkinson)
Speaking about the free giveaway last month, John said: "We work in the van for nine months, and permanently throughout the summer, so we see this giveaway as our 'finale' before taking some time off.

"It started off to give these kids something to smile about, but it has honestly become our best day of the year. It's so rewarding and we love doing it, so that's why Jordan, Jack, and Jasmine wanted to get involved too.

"You can just see their worlds light up when giving them the ice cream and they have a permanent smile on their face.

"They give us cards too and spend all day thanking us, so it's a really nice day."

St Helens Star: The annual tradition gives free ice creams away all day at Lansbury BridgeThe annual tradition gives free ice creams away all day at Lansbury Bridge (Image: John Watkinson)
Aware of how much the children appreciated the gesture, John, Nanjo, Jordan, Jack and Jasmine hope to encourage other residents or business owners to do similar acts of kindness for their benefit.

John added: "We will continue doing our giveaways every year but we just hope that other people and businesses come forward and do something similar too.

"It really makes their day and it's an amazing thing!"

St Helens Star: Jasmine, Jordan, Jack, and Nanjo at Lansbury BridgeJasmine, Jordan, Jack, and Nanjo at Lansbury Bridge (Image: John Watkinson)