A BARNSLEY Santa visited around 35 families a night in the run-up to Christmas.

Every evening after a full day’s work, father-of-two Jason Gill drives around Bolton-upon-Dearne in his Soutfit from 4pm until 8pm.

Jason’s ‘Santa visits’, now in their fourth year, take him on a tour of the Dearne Valley, visiting disadvantaged children in Bolton, Goldthorpe and Thurnscoe and giving them selection boxes of presents.

“You shouldn’t have to pay to see Santa,” he added.

“I’m now 33, but I know what it’s like to be poor as a child.

“I grew up as one of nine children, and my mum often couldn’t afford much for each of us, so I wanted to give a little something to enjoy to every child in the area who needs it.”

Traditionally, Jason has chosen not to take donations - he makes it clear that he’s always done the visits entirely off his own back - but this year, he received a £500 donation from his employer of eight years, Swantoncare, a company that supports adults with autism and learning difficulties.

The council had also offered a donation of £150, but this was swiftly rejected as Jason had already bought all of the presents he needed, and didn’t want to take any extra money.

“My wife Helen also helps with the project, and works at Swantoncare too.”