Stevenage family who spread Christmas cheer in memory of Darren plan to do it again after £300 fundraising success

Darren Woods and son TJ dressed as Santa and elf with the Eaton family during one of their many fami

Darren Woods and son TJ dressed as Santa and elf with the Eaton family during one of their many family visits on Christmas Eve. - Credit: Archant

A family from Stevenage who set out to spread seasonal cheer across the town on Christmas Eve are planning to do it all again next year.

Darren Hall died in May 2005, a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Now 10 years on, the Wood

Darren Hall died in May 2005, a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Now 10 years on, the Woods family in Stevenage spread Christmas cheer in his memory. - Credit: Archant

Tracey Woods’ husband Darren and 14-year-old son TJ dressed up as Santa and an elf to deliver presents and magic reindeer food to 20 families in memory of their neighbour’s son, who died a decade ago after a year-long battle with cancer.

The pair normally take on their festive alter egos for an annual Santa’s grotto organised by neighbour Angie Minett in memory of son Darren Hall, but this year they hit the road in return for donations to Bloodwise – the blood cancer charity which Angie has supported since her 26-year-old son’s death from leukaemia in 2005.

Tracey, 43, of Briardale, said: “We managed to raise almost £300 towards the charity and the reactions of the children we visited was priceless.

“Santa was given some wish lists by the children and a couple wanted him to stay all afternoon! We have had a great response from the parents thanking us – but the thank you should be for the parents allowing us to raise money for this worthwhile cause.”


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All parents who supported the venture will be sent a link in the new year to allow them to download images as a memento of the special visit, and Tracey says they’re planning to repeat the Christmas Eve tour for the same cause next year.

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