Christmas has come early for a Birmingham-based hospice, after a local ‘Santa’ dropped by to deliver gifts.

The Santa along with his festive elves – otherwise known as David Goddard, Nigel Potter and Rachel Brett – visited Birmingham St Mary’s on Thursday 21 December to hand out presents donated by a number of supporters from across the community.

The friends from Yardley delivered a range of thoughtful gifts to individuals staying at the Hospice, as well as people visiting its Day Hospice facilities.

Nigel first decided to deliver gifts to the Hospice in 2015 as he “liked to give back”. He has since visited the Hospice every Christmas and personally delivers gifts to individuals and their loved ones. He said: “I really enjoy doing something for others, which is why I wanted to bring along Santa to the Hospice. I always feel proud after I’ve been to Birmingham St Mary’s and it’s great to be able to brighten up someone’s day.”  

Nathan Johnson from Balsall Heath is just one of the individuals to be handed a present from Santa and his helpers. The 31-year-old visits Birmingham St Mary’s Day Hospice, which provides a therapeutic programme of care that empowers people to focus on living well.

He added: “I really wasn’t expecting a visit from Santa today so it’s fantastic to see him and his jolly elves at the Hospice. Everybody’s enjoyed having him here and he has definitely brought a smile to everyone’s face.” 

Inside Santa’s sack this year was a range of presents, including care packs that had been specifically designed to support individuals who are receiving end of life care. All gifts were donated to the Hospice by a number of different people and organisations within the local community.

Jenny Evitts, sister at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “No-one spreads Christmas cheer quite like Santa himself, so it’s fantastic to see that he’s paid a visit to Birmingham St Mary’s this year. He’s created a real buzz at the Hospice and we hope everyone enjoyed opening their presents.  

“Thank you to Nigel and to all the kind people who have donated gifts this year – the presents are incredibly thoughtful and it’s brilliant to have our very own Santa handing them out.”   

Birmingham St Mary’s provides vital care and support to individuals and families living with terminal illness. Every day, the Hospice supports 350 individuals across Birmingham and Sandwell – whether that’s at the Hospice, in people’s own homes or in the local community.