Housing group keeps Santa on the road

Thousands of County Durham children will get to see Santa Claus thanks to support from one of the region’s largest housing providers.

Father Christmas is set to meet thousands of East Durham youngsters thanks to volunteers from Parkside Community Centre in Seaham, with a little support from County Durham Housing Group.

The man in the red suit will be travelling around communities in the area in a specially constructed sleigh, visiting children in their own street who he would otherwise not get the chance to meet.

County Durham Housing Group has provided £450 through its ‘group grant’ funding scheme to ensure that the sleigh is in top condition and to provide sweets and healthy treats to every child he sees.

County Durham Housing Group Funding Officer, Damian Pearson, said: “When we heard about how this project will bring joy to so many young people, we were eager to help out. The volunteers are so passionate and committed to putting smiles on the faces of thousands of children each year. It’s amazing to think that just a small amount of funding through our ‘group grant’ scheme has helped to make it possible.”

Santa makes trips on his sleigh with volunteer elves right up to Christmas. They spend as much time as possible with residents, with no timetable to their visits.

Richard Cameron from Parkside Community Centre said: “The volunteers at Parkside community centre are extremely grateful for the generosity from County Durham housing group, which has allowed us to provide all children in the areas we visit a little snack. This has enabled us to give healthy alternatives, which has been extremely popular, as a lot of families like to stick with the Christmas traditions of having fruit at this time of year.”

Any community organisation, non-profit making group, charity or school working in the areas served by County Durham Housing Group is eligible for the ‘group grant’ scheme.

Full details of the group grant scheme are available  here.

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