‘I’m trying to sprinkle a bit of Christmas magic’: The ‘real’ Santa Claus set to spread festive cheer in South Tyneside
Rob Seales, of Tyne Dock, who has been growing his white beard since last December, is making the final preparations to his Santa suit, ready for a busy few months in the countdown to Christmas.
On his ‘sleigh’ – a Suzuki Volusia motorbike - the dad-of-two will be making house visits, video calls and attending Christmas parties for families across the North East, with all profits going to charity.
“I’m just trying to sprinkle a bit of Christmas magic,” said the 50-year-old IT worker.
“I remember when I was a child, Christmas was a magical time.
“My parents did great things for me, and I had my children believing until they were about nine or 10.
“Now it’s not that magical any more. Kids face so much pressure from people at school saying it’s not real. It’s just about bringing the magic back.”
Rob came up with the idea after passing his motorbike test last year and dressing up as Santa for a charity Christmas drive with the Gunners North East motorcycle group,
All of the profits from his visits and calls will go to the charity, Cash 4 Kids, as well as supporting food bank and community project Hebburn Helps with a Christmas party and charity drive with his motorbike group later in the year.
There is a minimum donation of £2 for a video call from 'Santa’ but he’s happy to negotiate for house visits, depending on a family's budget.
“It’s not about the money. It's about raising money for charity, but it's more about seeing their faces when they see Santa - it’s just fantastic,” he continued.
“I don't mind how much their budget is, it’s anything they can afford and everything helps.”
Rob added: “It gives everybody the chance to enjoy it, even the people who are on a tight budget such as single parents, because they want the magic of Christmas back too.”
For more information visit The Real Santa Claus Facebook page @UKSantaisreal