Jump to content

Porthcawl's very own Christmas family who raise thousands of pounds for charity each year


Rob Thompson
 Share

Recommended Posts

Porthcawl's very own Christmas family who raise thousands of pounds for charity each year

Source -  Wales Online

By - David Brownie

Date - 06-08-2021

In 2018, Allan Evans from Porthcawl was a tax adviser by day, and a husband, father, and Bampi by night.

However, when he was approached by an old colleague for a favour, he had no idea how it would transform the family's lives.

The colleague noticed a certain likeness between Allan, originally from Maesteg, and jolly old Saint Nicholas.

Allan recalled: "I received a phone call from a colleague I used to work with about three years ago.

0_rbp_mai160721santa10160JPG.jpg

"She asked me if I'd like to be Father Christmas for the Tata Steel children's Christmas parties. Not quite sure why they thought that, I say patting my big belly and pulling my white beard. But I thought, well, I'll give it a go because they didn't have anyone else to stand in."

Allan and his wife, Sharon, sourced a local seamstress to make him a suit, and he had a few trial runs with some local Scouts before attending the Christmas parties as the Steel Works Santa.
Christmas 2018 came and went, however, the passing of a colleague in 2019 meant Allan would have to dust off his Santa suit for a rather unusual appearance.
"A friend of a colleague of mine in work, Alex, he loved Christmas, but unfortunately passed away quite suddenly. He had a heart problem and everyone that went to his funeral was dressed up in Christmas jumpers.

"I went there as Father Christmas because his parents and his fiancée said he would have been really chuffed if Father Christmas had attended his funeral, so I did.

From there Allan contacted the British Heart Foundation to arrange some fundraising.

"I spoke with my family, and the concept of the 'Family Claus' was born."

The family decided to go all-in on the fundraising, arranging visits to Pyle Garden Centre, home visits, and Christmas parties. Allan also sorted outfits for his wife and daughter from the seamstress who made his suit.

"I didn't want to be a Coca Cola Santa, I wanted to be something different, something that would encourage people to put their hands in their pockets.

"I went into a shop and said, I'd like to have something like this, this sort of colour, and from there she made the suit that I'm wearing now. I think it's amazing what she's done. She then made an outfit for my wife, Mrs Clause, and my daughter, Katie, who is my Chief Elf Candy Cane."

The grandchildren are also very supportive of the family's venture. "My granddaughter, Serena is 11 now and my grandson, Harrison, is seven. My grandson is very cute he says, 'when you got your hat on your Santa, when your hat's off, you're Bampi'.

"I explained to them that Santa gets very very busy towards Christmas time and he asks certain people, who've got the magic of Christmas in their hearts to help him out. And I'm very proud that he's asked me."


The family have spent their Christmases since raising money for various local charities. After the passing of Sharon's mother last year from Alzheimer's, the family turned their efforts to fundraising for Alzheimer's Society Cymru.

Last year's fundraising was made difficult due to Covid-19 and lockdown restrictions, however, Allan and the family continued doing what they could to make Christmas special and continue fundraising despite the tough circumstances. This included video greetings and appearances, and Covid-safe appearances at the garden centre.

"It gives you a good feeling, it is the magic of Christmas. When people got out to the Santa experience last year, a lot of parents would turn around and just mouth the words 'thank you', because they wanted something normal in the pandemic world."

Even with the restrictions, Allan and his family managed to raise over £10,000 for Alzheimer's Society Cymru, earning him the Dementia Hero Award for fundraising this month.

"I was told about the nomination just as my wife had been diagnosed with cancer. It gave us a real morale boost, like a lovely thought just to think that somebody's taking the effort to write into Alzheimer's to say what we've been doing. It was really nice to read on the web at the time.

"When the media announced that I was the winner, there was complete silence in the room because we didn't believe it, we thought the others would have got it. Then all of a sudden it sunk in and we all started jumping up and down it was wonderful. It's a wonderful feeling and a nice thought. I'm very, very honoured."

Allan and his family managed to raise over £10,000 for Alzheimer's Society Cymru, earning him the Dementia Hero Award for fundraising this month.
A spokesperson for Alzheimer's Society Cymru said: "Allan, aka Steel Works Santa, is not only a truly inspirational fundraiser, but he has also been a beacon of light and hope during the dark days of the pandemic. He saved Christmas for many people across South Wales, all whilst raising vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.

"The past year has been tough for all of us. But imagine how much worse it would have been if you couldn’t understand why it was happening: why you no longer saw your loved ones; why your carers stopped visiting or why they wore masks. Tragically, this was the reality for tens of thousands of people living with dementia in the UK.

"Since the pandemic began, Alzheimer’s Society support services have been used more than 3.7 million times, showing that people affected by dementia need us now more than ever.

"Allan’s incredible festive fundraising has helped us to be here for the 46,000 people living with dementia in Wales."

With Sharon's recent diagnosis, the family aren't sure what this Christmas will bring for the Family Claus appearances, however, Allan is already thinking ahead.

"A local photographer has teamed up with me and a Christmas trees company. They've allowed me to take photos, and we'll try and sort of make up some Christmas cards and other sort of festive related items that we can sell and hopefully raise money for Alzheimer's again."

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely brilliant effort Santa and family!

I love his out fit, I quite fancy something like that myself........ ponders :) 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

I love his out fit, I quite fancy something like that myself

DITTO!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

Source -  Wales Online

I've always been partial to Wales.  I don't know of any relatives there now, but when the Maxwell's began migrating from Scotland, some went to Wales and stayed.  I sure like their Santas. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Santa Craig Maxwell said:

I've always been partial to Wales.  

Jonah and Geppetto were too lol :) 

oops wrong Wales :) 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Rob Thompson said:

oops wrong Wales :) 

Wales should have a town named Nineveh just for tourist. 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Santa Craig Maxwell said:

Wales should have a town named Nineveh just for tourist. 

Well I know Wales is just ahead of the dark ages, but thats a bit rich Craig lol.

(PS I love Wales, the people and the country no offence intended to any Welsh people.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

🎄 COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

  • Days
  • Hours
  • Minutes
  • Seconds

Post your pictures and comments here daily!

  • Donations

    All donations go directly towards the cost of hosting and running ClausNet!

    Your support, through donations or simply by clicking on sponsor links, is greatly appreciated!

    Donate Sidebar by DevFuse
  • Our picks

    • How do You Portray Santa?
      Portraying Santa is acting; it is a characterization of a mythical character.

      Most of us never think of ourselves as actors, but we are. Certain characteristics of Santa Claus have been handed down from one generation to another. The way we dress and conduct ourselves all follow an established pattern.

      Santa Claus is one of the most recognizable characters throughout the world. This came about from the advertising campaign of the Coke Cola Company and the creative painting genius, of Haddon Sundblom. Coke Cola was looking to increase winter sales of its soft drink and hired Sundblom to produce illustrations for prominent magazines. These illustrations appeared during the holiday season from the late 1930s into the early 1970s and set the standard for how Santa should look.

      This characterization of Santa with rosy cheeks, a white beard, handlebar mustache plus a red costume trimmed in white fur is the image most everyone has in their minds. Unconsciously people are going to judge you against that image. If your beard isn’t white or you have a soiled suit it will register with the onlooker.

      By the way, the majority of Sundblom's paintings depict Santa with a Brown Belt and Brown Boots. Not until his later illustrations did he change the color to Black for these items. Within the past few years many costume companies have offered the Coke Cola Suit and it has become very popular. You can tell it by the large buttons and absence of fur down the front of the jacket.

      No matter how you portray Santa, be it home visits, schools, churches, parades, corporate events, malls, hospitals we all make an entrance and an impression! The initial impression we make determines if our client will ask us to return.

      The 5 Second Rule

      I have a theory: When you enter the presence of your audience you have about 5 seconds to make people believe you are the real Santa.
        • Thanks
        • Love
        • Like
      • 5 replies
    • If You Have the Post Christmas Blues You’re Doing Christmas Wrong
      The post-Christmas blues are a very real thing. Once the date of December 25th has passed the specter of December 26th is an ominous marker to many. It sits there on the calendar like the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come. Silent and foreboding, the very image of the hooded Angel of Death it seems to be. And why not?

      Just about anywhere you look Americans are tossing trees to the curb, ripping down lights from rooftops and radio stations are flipping back to everyday music. What took months to build gets deconstructed in a matter of a couple of days.
        • Love
        • Like
      • 26 replies
    • Not Everyone Can Be Santa!
      Yes, I said it and it is not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do view many Facebook sites along with websites and posted photos. Frankly, many of these postings should have never been put on public display.
        • Thanks
        • Love
        • Like
      • 8 replies
    • Auld Lang Syne
      Every New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, millions around the world traditionally gather together to sing the same song, “Auld Lang Syne”. As revilers mumble though the song’s versus, it often brings many of them to tears – regardless of the fact that most don’t know or even understand the lyrics. Confusion over the song’s lyrics is almost as much of a tradition as the song itself. Of course that rarely stops anyone from joining in.
        • Wow
        • Love
        • Like
      • 3 replies
    • Merry Christmas, My Friend
      Every year around this time, some variation of this poem is circulated online. The poem is generally credited to “a soldier stationed in Okinawa” or more recently since September 11, 2001, “a Marine stationed in Afghanistan”.

      However, the poem’s true author is Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt.

      Originally entitled, “Merry Christmas, My Friend”, Corporal Schmidt wrote the poem in 1986 while serving as Battalion Counter Sniper at the Marine Barracks 8th & I, in Washington, D.C.

      That day the poem was placed in the Marine Corps Gazette and distributed worldwide. Schmidt’s poem was later published in Leatherneck (Magazine of the Marines) in December 1991.
        • Sad
        • Love
        • Like
      • 1 reply
×
×
  • Create New...