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Reporter turns Santa for weekly’s Christmas campaign

A Christmas campaign launched by a Midlands weekly has gathered more than 100 presents to be handed out to struggling families.

Tamworth Herald reporter Lee Kettle played Santa on Friday (December 21), delivering the donated gifts to dozens of children across the area.

The paper teamed up with the Tamworth branch of Asda for the campaign, raising £4,300 in six weeks to buy presents and food hampers, to be delivered to 57 families.

Herald editor Gary Phelps said he was delighted with the result.

“This is a truly moving story of festive generosity, the perfect pick-me-up for our town as Christmas approaches,” he said.

“It speaks volumes about the nature of Tamworth and the caring nature of its people.

“Once all the festivities are over, and the tinsel is down, we will be able to think back to what we achieved in such a small amount of time and know that community spirit is alive and kicking in Tamworth.”

The 57 families, from all areas of the town, were identified by Staffordshire County Council as “experiencing hardship, difficulties or disadvantage.”

Children had written a letter to Santa with their list, which Asda Tamworth then matched.

Youngsters received at least one present each, and food hampers containing the main ingredients for a proper Christmas dinner were also delivered.

Seventeen Tamworth schools also held food donation boxes as part of the campaign.

Asda spokeswoman Wendy Allen said: “I’m ecstatic. The response has been amazing, it’s gone way past my expectations.

“What’s impressed me the most is just how happy the kids are to get involved, and help people less fortunate than themselves.

“I’m amazed at how generous everyone has been. Tamworth is a great town.”