Secret Santa virtual workshops run by Warkworth businesswoman

An expert in hybrid working practices is bringing a virtual touch of Christmas tradition to the workplace.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 4:07 pm
Lorna Watkinson is running virtual Secret Santa workshops.
Lorna Watkinson is running virtual Secret Santa workshops.

Lorna Watkinson, from Warkworth, runs Vibrant Thinking, a company that has grown during the pandemic due to her expertise in helping businesses adapt to the pressures of working both at home and in the workplace.

In a unique twist to the tradition of giving presents in a “Secret Santa” way, Lorna has now developed an online workshop session which incorporates a fun way of giving and receiving as well as reinforcing the spirit of team bonding.

Lorna bases many of her sessions on pottery painting, a concept she set up when she left her job as a busy executive in a major corporate company almost 10 years ago.

Originally formed to provide fun activities for children, the business morphed and developed a niche coaching and consultancy to help people experiencing stress and anxiety at work find an outlet for their creativity.

The workshops are run via Zoom and just like Secret Santa, names are pulled out of the hat and each person paints a pottery mug or a plate for the person that they’ve received in the draw.

Kits are sent out to delegates in advance with everything they need to paint the items including packaging so that they can be safely returned to Lorna for glazing and firing in her pottery ovens.

“It’s a bit of fun with a team building slant and you don’t have to be a good artist to take part, as it’s really about expressing yourself and enjoying spending virtual time with your work colleagues,” said Lorna.

“The experience is almost identical to doing a physical session face to face because the pottery painting focuses you onto the task and the chat between people is just like you get in a busy office, factory or workplace.

“With the pandemic and the threat of new variants emerging, many businesses are cancelling face-to-face office parties as they are worried about them being super spreader events. With our workshops, no one comes into contact, and everything is provided for them in a safe and secure manner. It’s a great way for employers to give something different to their staff at Christmas.”

Secret Santa workshops are available at £65 per person from

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