Santa set to bring smiles to Mansfield children who have missed out during Covid

A Mansfield grandad is hoping to bring ‘lots of smiles’ to his community as he takes to the road as Santa.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 4:10 pm

Keith Hammond – known as ‘Stan’ – will be spotted around the Bull Farm and Ladybrook area dressed as the big man himself riding on a homemade sleigh on the back of a trailer.

The self employed groundwork brick layer who lives on Booth Crescent, Bull Farm, built the marine-ply sleigh with his neighbour Mark Weston.

On Monday night, Stan visited the Kings Mill Hospital giving out chocolate to the staff and youngsters on the children’s ward.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Santa - Keith 'Stan' Hammond.

Tonight Tuesday, he will be doing a socially distanced visit to the elderly residents at the Ashmere Care Homes, at 5pm. He has been Santa for several years for Ashmere, where his late mum Violet Edna Hammond was a resident.

This year he will be waving to the residents through the windows and delivering boxes of chocolates.

On Christmas Eve, he is doing a ‘Covid-safe’ tour of the Bull Farm and Ladybrook areas, giving out selection boxes to children. Stan collected over 450 treats from the community, half were given to Kings Mill and the other half will go on his rounds.

Stan who is 63, and has two step-daughters and three grandchildren, said. “The kids haven’t seen Santa much at all this year, he is usually in supermarkets or here and there.

"I thought it would be nice to cheer everyone up. It was just going to be in my community but I’m being asked to do more visits. It has all been properly risk assessed. We have got sanitiser and seat-belts and everything on the sleigh.

"My old dad Stanley Hammond, who died when he was 58, used to say to me, ‘if you have put a smile on someone’s face today, then you have done your job.’

"We are telling the children to stand at their gates, but they must stay well apart.”

Santa sets off from Stan’s home on Booth Crescent at around 3.45pm, on Christmas Eve. He will travel up Booth Cresecnt, to Bright Square, round the square, past the shops, up Peel Crescent and down Ruskin Road. After that he will head to Ladybrook, mainly following bus routes.

At Easter, Stan also collected 189 Easter eggs to thank King’s Mill staff.