Early Christmas for residents

Brierton Lodge Nursing home resident Marjorie Murphey (centre) and activities co-ordinator Mary Richardson thank Brian Fleet (tesco community champion) for the donation of goods to the home.

Brierton Lodge Nursing home resident Marjorie Murphey (centre) and activities co-ordinator Mary Richardson thank Brian Fleet (tesco community champion) for the donation of goods to the home.

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CHRISTMAS came early for residents at a Hartlepool care home when they were presented with a host of donations from a supermarket.

Hartlepool-born Brian Fleet works at the Tesco distribution centre in Teesport, Middlesbrough, and part of his job is to donate unwanted stock to good causes.

The 60-year-old began distributing discontinued and end of line stock, or goods with damaged boxes to schools in May last year, with many gifts used to raise money for activities through raffles and tombolas.

But Brian, who is nicknamed “The Summer Santa”, said when it came to the school holidays, he was at a loss as to what to do with the goods, and realised “old people in homes have the same needs as kids”.

So the dad-of-two and stepfather-of-two, who was born in Greatham but now lives in Billingham, decided to start presenting the goods to nursing and care homes.

The latest recipient was the BUPA Brierton Lodge Nursing Home, in Brierton Lane, Hartlepool, which received donations including tableware, stationery, candles and vases.

The home’s activities co-ordinator Mary Richardson said: “We were more than happy to receive the goods.”

Brian aims to make five deliveries a week and estimates to have made more than 250 donations in the past year.

The grandfather-of-three even donated a TV for the town’s Oaksway Netball Club to use as a raffle prize.

Any other town causes wishing to apply for a donation can write to Brian Fleet at the Tesco Distribution Centre, Dabholm Road, Teesport, Middlesbrough TS6 6UD.