Santa's little helpers target the needy

HOMELESS families will receive a visit from Santa this Christmas due to the kind hearted determination of a team of volunteers.

Pat Myrie and her Christmas “elves” at South Yorkshire Housing Association are pulling out all the stops to ensure that no child staying in SYHA homeless accommodation in Rotherham and South Yorkshire goes without a gift on Christmas Day.

SYHA estimate that there will be 160 homeless families staying with them over the festive period this year, including 250 children.

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Pat, a customer services assistant, has worked for SYHA for 25 years, and for the past ten years has raised funds and called for donations of presents so that she can provide gifts for youngsters across the county.

This year she has raised £235 through holding a deli-day at work, where staff made and sold delicious treats—from mutton curry and rice to homemade onion chutney.

Pat said: “Ten years ago I started giving out food parcels, with the help from my local church, to local homeless projects.

“As time went by I started reaching more people, and began an annual toy appeal, where members of SYHA staff would make donations for the kids. “This year I am hoping we can get enough donations so that everyone staying in our homeless projects, no matter what their age, has something to make them smile this Christmas.”

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Pat’s generosity spreads a lot further than South Yorkshire.

In 1991, along with a friend , she began a charity called Vision of Charity, which sending useful items and gifts to children in Africa and Jamaica.  

Pat added: “I just love kids and don't like to see them suffering.

“My kids are happy and I believe every kid should be happy, especially at Christmas.”