Santa's sleigh outside grandad's home on Thorpe Lane at Middleton helps lift Mission Christmas toy appeal
A Leeds grandad who placed a life size Santa's sleigh outside his home as a Christmas decoration has ended up raising cash for good causes as it continues to draw crowds over the festive season.
Jamie Tennant bought the sleigh from a haulage company around three years ago and decided to place it outside his house on Thorpe Lane, Middleton, as a Christmas decoration.
Jamie, who runs Leeds Reclamation Ltd in Cross Green, added festive lights, a Santa, reindeer and snowmen and families passing by would stop to have photos taken on the sleigh.
After his father Kenneth died aged 73 from cancer in 2019, Jamie decided to use the sleigh to raise cash in his memory for Leeds children's cancer charity Candlelighters over Christmas 2020.
Dad-of-four Jamie, 41, said visitors donated just under £2,000.
This year, Jamie - who has a nine-month-old grandson called Arlo - is supporting a toy appeal aimed at making sure all disadvantaged children in Leeds and West Yorkshire have a present to open this Christmas.
The Yorkshire Evening Post-backed Mission Christmas Mission Christmas toy appeal is an annual campaign run by Cash For Kids, supported by Bauer Radio’s regional stations, including Pulse 1.
Lauren Proctor, charity fundraising executive for Cash for Kids, said: “I drove past Jamie’s Sleigh every day over Christmas in 2020 and it brought such joy to me, but also to my kids who got to have their photos taken sitting on the sleigh.
"I knew I needed to get in touch with Jamie to see if our charity could be the beneficiary of funds raised in 2021.”
Jamie said: “I didn’t start this for publicity, I just wanted to make the kids smile.
"Knowing that this year I can also help support more children, as the funds raised will help buy Christmas presents for kids living in poverty - it just makes it all the more worthwhile.”
The sleigh is outside Jamie's address at Low Street Farm Cottage on Thorpe Lane, Middleton, WF3 1SL. Thorpe Lane runs between Middleton and Tingley.
Donations can be made at the sleigh in cash or via a QR code or on Leeds Reclamation Ltd Instagram page
In 2020, Mission Christmas collected over £12.7m in gifts and cash donations, which was used to make sure that 254,352 children and young people had presents to open on Christmas Day. A total of 16,811 children and young people received gifts. This year, the charity is expecting record levels of requests for help.
Supporters can take their gifts to a number of drop-off points, including local B&M stores and Bensons for Beds in Harrogate, or buy a gift direct at www.pulse1co.uk/mission. To find your nearest drop off, visit: www.pulse1.co.uk/mission.
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.