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Sit-out Santa Claus raises almost £500,000

BY ERINN KERR

Published 30/12/2015

Coleraine’s caring caretaker Davy Boyle gets a contribution to his fundraising effort from three-year-old Lucas Orr during his festive sit-out at Coleraine Town Hall
Coleraine’s caring caretaker Davy Boyle gets a contribution to his fundraising effort from three-year-old Lucas Orr during his festive sit-out at Coleraine Town Hall

A bearded man who bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas has raised almost £500,000 for charity by staging Santa sit-outs in Coleraine.

Davy Boyle, who has been collecting money over the festive period for 17 years, said he hoped to break the mark next year after this year's total of £30,000 left him £14,000 short.

The 62-year-old, who was once a caretaker, added: "Sometimes when I thought I was having a bad day because I had to move lots of chairs or do loads of manual labour, I would catch sight of someone with a disability or hardship, and that put things into perspective.

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Black Santa Dean John Mann finishes Christmas charity appeal at Belfast Cathedral  

"I have been doing this for 17 years from December 1 to December 24, and I appreciate every penny donated. I'm especially grateful for the trust that people put in me. Almost £500,000 is such a huge amount to hand over.

"I do look a lot like Santa and I often get kids coming up to me, thinking I'm him. I just humour them and chat away."

Among the charities to benefit from the sit-outs this year are Meningitis Research UK, The Lapland Trust and Willies Orphan Fund.

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