The Chronicle Sunshine Fund – Santa and Whizz Bang bring Christmas magic

The Chronicle Sunshine Fund – Santa and Whizz Bang bring Christmas magic

Hello Sunshine News readers,

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve burst into tears several times this week.

Largely because of the generosity shown by the crowd on Northumberland Street this week as stagecoach Santa and his cheeky elf Whiz Bang spread some much-needed Christmas magic across the town centre. Santa and Whiz Bang braved the cold (hope they had their thermals on!) and greeted everyone from commuters and Christmas shoppers to kids heading to Great North Children’s Hospital for appointments.

I had the pleasure of seeing some very special moments between Santa Claus and some very excited children, but also many adults who stopped in their busy lanes to take a moment and enjoy the festivities. Santa has been there for Facetime and Team calls, as well as taking endless selfies with some “big kids”!


I’ve seen students toss £10 notes into our collection bins, shoppers literally empty the contents of their purses to give whatever they can and cashless millennials texting asking how to donate. That generosity has more than warmed our frozen fingers and toes this week, it has truly warmed our hearts.

Santa has also been busy updating his nice list of lots of names plus a few that Mams and Dads say must do their best to make the nice list! The real heroes are of course Santa and Whiz Bang himself, along with the entire Slatyford Stagecoach team who helped us bring this Christmas extravaganza together.

Santa’s colleagues are also on the buses during the run-up to Christmas, collecting in their buckets while donning their prettiest costumes. We’ve seen everything from Christmas puddings to pantomime ladies and we’re 100% here for it! Thank you, thank you, thank you, you wonderful people.

The team have been keeping warm thanks to some kind donations and gift cards from our friends at Arctic Wolf to ensure they have a constant supply of coffee, thanks guys!

Earlier in the week we had a special visit from our friends at the True Colors Theater Foundation and Dreams on Moonbeams who provided some very special signed singing entertainment. This was a very special moment for us as we worked hard to ensure that children and adults of all ages and with different needs can enjoy a visit from Santa this year.

Elsa, Anna and the cheeky elves quickly drew a crowd and instantly connected with the audience. This will forever remain a highlight on my ever growing list of memories from the Sunshine Fund. Thank you for joining us ladies and we can’t wait to see you back on the bus Sunday afternoon!

Thanks also to the army of volunteers who supported us this week and will do so over the weekend. You’ll be around town all weekend with our collection buckets, so please dig deep if you can, we need it now more than ever.

We are open again tomorrow from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and on Sunday from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. if you have not yet been with us with your little ones. Where possible, priority will be given to Sunshine Families and children with disabilities and additional needs. Please let a member of our team know if you need additional assistance. We anticipate peak times after 11:00 a.m. So try to arrive early to avoid queues.

See you at the weekend believers!

Siobhan x

How to donate…
Make a one-time or monthly donation by visiting
text SUNSHINE3 to 70085 to make a one-off donation of £3 to your monthly phone bill
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By check payable to The Chronicle Sunshine Fund: The Chronicle Sunshine Fund, 2nd floor, ncjMedia, Eldon Square, Percy Street, NE1 7JB

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