DISADVANTAGED and disabled children in Oxfordshire can expect more fun-packed family days out thanks to help from the county’s Freemasons.

It follows the latest annual trip to the Oxford Playhouse where nearly 400 children and their families enjoyed a specially-arranged performance of this year’s Playhouse panto, Aladdin.

The Freemasons raised more than £6,000 to pay for the treat.

Oxfordshire Freemasons’ charity steward Roger David said: “Their parents may not be able to afford to bring them, so it’s very special.

“We have a lot of children that rely heavily on foodbanks, and because of their families’ financial status they can come here as well.”

The visit to the Playhouse panto has been running for three years.

For the festive performance every child was given a Santa hat as well as a bag of sweets and toys.

Mr David, a police officer from Witney, said: “Everyone loved watching Aladdin. The way the script is written is easy to follow for children, and the actors all engaged really well with the audience.

“For children who have a physical disability, it can be very hard for them to come to a normal performance as parents are concerned they might get stared at.

“The parents get to be with their children and give them a special treat and know that no one will be looking or judging them.”

Also attending this year were the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Rae Humberstone, and the Mayor of Abingdon, Helen Pighills.

They were joined by staff from East Oxford’s children and young adults hospice Helen & Douglas House and from Katharine House Hospice at Adderbury, near Banbury. Both organisations help suggest families for the day out.

As an extra treat for the children, the Freemasons are also working with entertainers Zippo Circus to put on a special performance for families in the summer.