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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Santa bikers deliver piles of presents to Derian House

KIND-HEARTED bikers made a special delivery of toys and gifts to seriously ill children – just in time for Christmas.

A fleet of Rivington Barn Bikers – dressed as Santas, elves, and even the Grinch – delivered a sleigh-load of presents from their base to Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley.

The group of 60 motorcyclists flooded onto the hospice’s driveway on Sunday (4 December) and were greeted by delighted children from the front steps.

The bikers then formed a chain gang and passed presents down the length of the car park and into the hospice building.

The kind gesture began several years ago in memory of biker Craig Hayward’s son, James, from Bolton, who was cared for at Derian House before he died on Boxing Day in 2005, aged seven.

Craig Hayward said: “We have been doing this since 2017, with a break during 2020 due to COVID. We started off with 30 bikers and it’s just got bigger and better every year since.

“My lad came to Derian House and a few of his friends came too. It’s a fantastic place that helps relieve the stress for parents and I hope by doing this I can do that too.

“I just wanted to give something back and put a smile on the kids’ faces. Seeing them smiling at the front of the hospice just proved to us what it’s all for.”

Craig, who was dressed as the Grinch on the day, teased that he hoped he hadn’t caused too much chaos on his way.

He said: “The gift run was emotional from the start. As our Santas started gathering at Rivington I could feel myself welling up. People waved and cheered us on all the way there – the support from all sides was incredible.

“It was overwhelming to see everyone pull together and I want to thank each and every person who came out on the day. Derian House will always have a place in my heart.”

Derian House Children’s Hospice provides respite and end-of-life care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions across the region.

Ellie Smith, Community Fundraiser at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “What an incredibly generous gesture from the Rivington Barn Bikers – thank you so much to everyone who rocked up on Sunday!

“The children staying at the hospice were so excited to see them – it was incredible to watch their faces as the bikes pulled into the driveway.

“With all the gifts they donated, we’ll make sure that each of the 450 children and young people we care for, and many of their siblings too, get a special present this year.

“From everyone at Derian House, we’d like to say a huge thank you to Craig and his fellow bikers.”

Find out more about Derian House: www.derianhouse.co.uk

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