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Christmas Magic

Sunshine News Friday 16th December

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been in tears several times this week. Mainly at the generosity shown by the public on Northumberland Street this week as Stagecoach Santa and his cheeky elf Whizz Bang have been spreading some much-needed Christmas magic in the city centre.

Santa and Whizz Bang have braved the cold this week (I hope they had their thermals on!) and have been greeting everyone from commuters and Christmas shoppers to children heading up to the Great North Children’s Hospital for appointments. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some very special moments between Santa and some very excitable children, but also many adults who have stopped in their busy tracks to take a moment and enjoy the festivities. Santa has been on Facetime and team calls, plus, featured in endless selfies with some “big kids” too! I’ve witnessed students drop £10 notes into our collection buckets, shoppers literally emptying the contents of their purse to give all they can and cashless millennials asking how to donate via text. This display of generosity has more than warmed our frostbitten fingers and toes this week, it’s truly warmed our hearts.

Santa has also been busy updating his nice list with lots of names, plus a few who, according to Mams and Dads, need to try their hardest this next week to move onto the nice list!

Of course, the true heroes are Santa and Whizz Bang themselves, along with all of the Slatyford Stagecoach team who have supported us in pulling this Christmas spectacular together. Santa’s colleagues are also out on the buses in the run up to Christmas collecting in their buckets whilst donning their most fetching fancy dress outfits. We’ve seen everything from Christmas puddings to Pantomime Dames and we are 100% here for it! Thank you, thank you, thank you, you wonderful human beings.

The team have been keeping warm this week thanks to some kind donations and gift cards from our friends at Arctic Wolf ensuring they’ve been in constant supply of coffee, thanks guys!

Earlier in the week we had a special visit from our friends at True Colours Theatre Foundation and Dreams on Moonbeams who provided some very special signed singing entertainment. This was such a special moment for us as we’ve worked hard to ensure that children, and adults, of all ages, with different needs, can enjoy a visit to Santa this year. Elsa, Anna and the cheeky Elves soon drew a crowd and instantly made a connection with members of the public. This will forever remain a highlight on my ever-growing list of Sunshine Fund memories. Thanks for joining us ladies and we can’t wait to see you back at the bus on Sunday afternoon!

Thanks also to the army of volunteers who have supported us this week and who will be doing so over the weekend. They’ll be out with our collection buckets in town all weekend so please dig deep if you can, we need it now more than ever.

We’ll be ready and raring to go from 9am til 5pm tomorrow and then again 9:30am-4:30pm on Sunday if you haven’t been to see us yet with your little ones. Priority, when possible, will be given to Sunshine Families and children with disabilities and additional needs so please make a member of our team aware should you need any additional assistance. We expect peak times to be from 11am onwards so try and arrive early to avoid queues.

See you at the weekend believers!

Siobhan x