Seasonal surprises for Sheffield residents

Jessica Ennis-Hill presents local hero Philip Barty with a hamper from Santander

Jessica Ennis-Hill presents local hero Philip Barty with a hamper from Santander

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Companies in Sheffield have been spreading Christmas joy across the city – assisted by some special helpers.

Sheffield’s London 2012 Olympic heptathlete champion Jessica Ennis-Hill acted as financial giant Santander’s Secret Santa to surprise, delight and thank the bank’s customers across the city who make a real difference in their community.

Four local heroes received hampers and gifts as well as a special visit from golden girl Jess, of Dore.

Deborah Moon, who works with young people struggling to get jobs within the creative sector; Ainhoa Dafis-Sagarmendi, who coaches women-only boxing to improve access for women into the sport; Philip Barty, of Autism Plus, a charity helping people with autism reach their full potential; and Maurice and Meriel Littlewood, an 80-year-old couple who, after losing both of their grandchildren, set up Amy’s House, a charity for children with special needs, were recognised.

There was also a special present for Leslie Morgan, one of Autism Plus’ members, who is raising funds to take part in the 2015 Special Olympic World Games in the USA.

In addition to £1,000 towards the trip, Jess invited Les to a training session with her at the English Institute of Sport, in Attercliffe.

Elsewhere, supermarket chain Morrisons enlisted the help of Santa to deliver shopping to a lucky customer.

Santa delivered an online shop to Louise Dyson’s family home on Wilcox Close in Foxhill, bringing festive food and fun straight from his sleigh to her front door.

This is the first year Morrisons has launched its Christmas home delivery slots.