SHAFTON man Jordan Gray, who set up a free-to-attend weight-loss programme earlier this year after shedding three stones, has a dilemma on his hands.

The dad-of-two had seen his weight soar to 29 stones and after his recent calorie-counting reaped dividends is keen to lose more - but not too much.

Jordan swaid: “I have got down to 26 stones and want to lose another three but I can’t lose too much because of my Santa duties at Christmas.”

For the last six years Jordan has been dressing up as Father Christmas to delight local children with a visit.

“It all started when a friend asked me to dress up as Santa - I really enjoyed seeing the magic on the kids’ faces and it just went from there.

“I now have my own personalised Santa suit and some of the children that I visit have long-term health problems and for some it will be their last Christmas.

“It’s heart-breaking in those circumstances but it means everything to put a smile on their faces.”

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It’s just one of the community initiatives that Jordan has been involved in over the years and which has led to a nomination for this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

The nomination said: “The things he has done over the last ten years have been outstanding.

“He has taken the role of Santa every Christmas visiting kids all around the borough, even visiting children where it would have been their last Christmas and has said he will continue to do this.

“He was part of The Dell community pond clean-up in Grimethorpe and he was an extremely approachable doorman in Barnsley for ten years, helping customers and managers from everywhere.

“He has done everything you can think of to put smiles on the faces of people in Barnsley and I don’t think he gets enough recognition for everything he does.”

Jordan, a former head doorman at many pubs around town, also ran online quizzes during lockdown to keep people entertained.

His latest initiative - Belly Be Gone - now has over 200 active members.

Jordan, who works for the Probation Service and is also a bodyguard, said: “Everything is going great at the moment and the weight-loss programme has been brilliant.

“I love Barnsley and have always been massively community-minded.

“Anything I can do to help people or put a smiles on their faces I will do it.

“It’s so good to be nominated too - it means a lot to be appreciated in this way.”