After raising around £7,500 for us over the festive season, we wanted to catch up with the very hard working 'Steel Works Santa' to ask a few questions about why supporting Hope Rescue was so important to him.

What made you choose to support Hope Rescue? 

As part of our festive fundraising, we always try to support a national and a local charity.

As we lost one of our dogs, Golden Doodle Zara, in March 2023 we decided to support a local dog rescue charity. As we are friends with one of the team at Hope Rescue they had told us told us about the brilliant but challenging work you do.

The rest as they say is history.

How did your festive activities go? 

The 2023 festive season was our best season in the 6 years we have been portraying the Steelworks Santa and the family Claus.

We started in October with festive photography sessions, carried out Breakfast and Tea with Santa sessions, various school visits, home visits, care home visits, football and rugby club visits, hosting a Hope Rescue Christmas Quiz and even finishing off the pantomimes run by Ty Hafan with a Santa visit. 

While most of the sessions were sold out, we hope we managed to spread the spirit and magic of Christmas while raising almost £15,000 which was split equally between Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and Hope Rescue.

What made the events so successful? 

This is a question I often ask myself. I don’t know really, all I can say is that we, in the Family Claus, try to spread some joy for both adults and children alike. Christmas is a special time of the year and while we do our best, the kindness and support we receive from all the people we meet helps to keep us motivated to keep on going during what is a very busy time.

Is there anyone on your 'nice list' that you would like to thank for their support? 

Personally, I really want to thank all of the Family Claus and everyone who booked us for their Festive events.

Without my wife Sharon (Mrs Claus), my daughter, Katie (Chief Elf, Candy Cane) and my grandchildren, Serena (Head Elf in Training, Jingleberry) and Harrison (Head Elf in charge of Security), we would not be able to carry on as much as we do.

They all play a major part in our portrayal of the Christmas family, it is very tiring, but they always are ready and willing to help, whatever the festive activity.

They all encompass what is best about the Christmas traditions.

What was your most memorable part of your festive activities? 

I really enjoy each and every event I am privileged to attend but I must admit that, during the Hope Rescue Christmas Quiz, having 100 adults singing “Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer” was a first and a brilliant feeling to see everyone singing and smiling. It just goes to show that adults as well as children enjoy the magic of Christmas.

Finally, how is Santa feeling after such a busy festive season? 

I consider it an honour and privilege to be able to portray Father Christmas and we do our best to spread the spirit and magic of Christmas while raising money for charities and good causes. Without the kindness and support of our followers, we wouldn’t be able to do all that we are fortunate to do.

I would like to say a massive thank you to my family and the people who help and support us.

May I be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas for 2024