‘Santa’ could be a charity winner

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SANTA Claus Jim Croll has every reason to be proud.

He has been nominated in the Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards for his dedication to charity.

The 65-year-old has been dressing up as Father Christmas for almost a decade and has raised thousands of pounds for good causes.

The retired British Steel worker and former ICI supervisor lives with wife Mandy and sons Michael 16, and David 18, in the Oxford Road area of Hartlepool.

Michael was born with the heart defect Fallots Tetralogy which left him with a hole in the heart and restricted blood flow around the body.

But despite his condition he used to accompany his dad on his charity rounds dressed as Santa’s little helper and helped raise thousands of pounds for the heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital where Michael underwent countless operations.

The 16-year-old English Martys Sixth Form College student is now doing well health-wise and hopes to study medicine.

The dedicated pair raised thousands over the years for the heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and Jim’s latest festive fundraiser was in aid of Hartlepool Families First.

He donned his festive outfit to raise £110 for the charity and proudly proclaimed: “The town has done a lot me for me in the past and the charity is for every kid in the town that needs it.”

It is his pride in the town that led to an anonymous well-wisher contacting the Mail to nominate him for an award.

The Mail’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards are aimed at those unsung heroes who go that extra mile to help others.

The deadline for nominations is March 5 and a presentation ceremony will be held at Hartlepool College of Further Education at the end of the month.

A college spokeswoman said: “We are delighted to be hosting the awards evening which will showcase the excellent spirit and pride that exists among people in the town. It is a fantastic initiative by the Mail and we look forward to being a part of what promises to be a marvellous evening.”

The awards will recognise and celebrate the achievements of people from all walks of life whose selfless dedication lights up the lives of others.

There are 12 categories and we are urging you to put forward those special people who you feel deserve to be publicly recognised and honoured.

People who go that extra mile are usually the type who do it without any thought of public recognition so it is up to all of their family, friends and colleagues to put them forward.

Details of how to do that are on the nomination form printed below.