Santa in the saddle visits staff and patients at GWH

Patients and staff at Great Western Hospital had a festive surprise on Christmas Eve as Santa rode into town on his horse Frankie.  

Philip Newbury, from Chippenham, appeared at the hospital shortly after 11am yesterday dressed as Santa to cheer up youngsters and adults.  

The 63-year-old volunteered to guide the hospital’s Brighter Futures charity.  

He said: “It’s amazing to see young ones, it’s really lovely. And I’m really happy to be here. ”  

“I was supposed to be doing it on Wednesday, but I couldn’t do it because of the weather.  

“I’ve been doing this for 14 years, usually we go around Chippenham. But it’s the first time we’ve done it here. ” 

santa in the saddle visits staff and patients at gwh - Santa in the saddle visits staff and patients at GWH

Brighter Futures was unable to physically host its annual Santa Vs Rudolph Run. More than 550 people have been taking part throughout the month, raising around £7, 500 for the charity.  

The money raised today will go to Brighter Futures.   The event ends on December 26.

santa in the saddle visits staff and patients at gwh 1 - Santa in the saddle visits staff and patients at GWH

Community and events fundraising manager Michelle Leighton said: “Everyone had really rough year, and Philip has been really kind, he wished to get involved and support a healthcare facility and Wiltshire Ambulance for the Santa v Rudolph, which obviously we weren’t able to do it in person.  

“He offered to come and bring some festive cheer to our patients, our staff here and try brighten us all up a little bit and get a sense of the Christmas spirit, so we are really grateful that he’s taken time out of his day. ” 

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