Hundreds of children in the Dereham area have been given an early Christmas present with the arrival of Santa on his sleigh, thanks to the town’s Round Table group.

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And he took a special detour ahead of his visit to Shipdham to see a poorly eight-year-old boy who feared ill health might force him to miss out on his annual visit.

Matthew Saunders, from Saham Toney, suffers from cystic fibrosis and normally stands by the roadside in Shipdham with his mum Chantal to see Santa. But this year he has been suffering from a lung infection which meant he could not leave the warmth of his home for very long.

However Santa was able to get Rudolph to take a slight detour to stop right outside Matthew’s house, and the youngster emerged with a massive smile across his face.

“When Matt knew Santa was going to visit him he really perked up,” said his mum. “He just loves seeing Santa, and it means so much to Matthew that Santa has come to his house. What these guys from Round Table have done by helping Santa get to Saham Toney this afternoon is absolutely fantastic.

“It has certainly made Matthew’s Christmas, and ours, to see him so happy.”

This year the sleigh has also had some improvements made and has been fitted with a tracker so children and their parents can log on to to see a map showing where Santa is.

Organiser Spencer Burrell said:“Santa wanted to see as many children as possible.

“Also Santa sends out the odd Tweet, @DerehamSanta, when he gets a chance.”

Santa said that he has met some wonderful children while visiting the area.

“It really is great to see all of the children smiling and getting excited,” he said. “It is great to see the children grow up from year to year and to see some new faces.”

Santa has already visited Mattishall, Shipdham, Scarning estate, Littlefields and Moorgate. By the end of December Dereham Round Table and Ladies Circle hope to raise £5,000.

If you are a local club, society, organisation, school or individual living in the area and need funding for a worthy cause or specific project visit for more details.






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