Making Christmas Miracles
Dave Claughton has been a member of Honor Oak since 2002 and has held a number of offices in the lodge. The one he cherishes most however, is his role as Lodge Santa.
He took on the job back in 2013 (albeit somewhat reluctantly to begin with), when the lodge decided to throw a Christmas party for Step and Learn, a local cerebral palsy charity. Dave filled the red suit with magic and was an immediate hit with the children. On entering the grotto and seeing Santa, every one of them was wide eyed with wonder – and Dave’s natural ability to instantly connect with them was obvious to all.
It’s safe to say that that first day playing Santa changed Dave’s life. He has since put the red suit to work, and over the years has raised many thousands for various charities. He has taken it on himself to seek out work in return for donations. Every weekend and most evenings in November and December are taken up with charity events, photo shoots and personal appearances. This comes at a personal cost however, as Dave is self employed and doesn’t get paid when he takes time off work.
Making Miracles is especially close to Dave’s heart. It’s a birth trauma and baby bereavement care charity. Dave’s wife Denise lost a child at birth 30 years ago. In keeping with the attitudes of the time, she was told, “Never mind, go home and make another one.”.
Dave said, “The work that Making Miracles do is so important. The trauma of losing a child stays with you all your life and can still reduce you to tears years after the event. You often find yourself wondering what they would be doing now. What talent may have been lost to the world.”
Making Miracles offer a professional counselling service for trauma and loss. They aim to ensure that no parent ever feels alone on their journey, to improve emotional wellbeing and reduce mental health issues. This service is offered free of charge and is dependent on charitable donations. Thanks to Dave’s efforts this year, they are now £3,709 better off.
As if this wasn’t fantastic enough, Dave has also raised:
£1,250 for Step and Learn
£1,225 for More Than Words
£855 for Age UK
£500 for Rosie Cares
£350 for The Scouts/Guides
And £450 for various other charities.
Add on approximately £500 for Dave’s time off work and that makes an amazing £8,839!
The beard has now been trimmed back and the suit has been mothballed, but you can be sure that they’ll be back in time to do it all again next year.
Well done Dave! Everyone at Honor Oak is immensely proud to count you among our number.
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