The Carmarthenshire ‘Santa on a bike’ unfortunately had to cut his tours short after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Bryan O’Leary, 53, from Ammanford, had planned to visit 225 children this year on his Honda Gold Wing motorcycle – but he only managed to see 100 young people before being struck down by Covid.
Following the popularity of his “Santa on a Bike” deliveries in previous years, Bryan decided to dress again this year and planned to deliver each child on his list a boxed selection box – so he’s devastated. for not being able to visit everyone. he promised.
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Bryan said: âI was gutted, absolutely gutted to be honest. I have to email people to let them know and say sorry, but we can’t do that this year.
“The response we got was really lovely because they say, ‘Look, don’t worry you can still do this next year, make sure you get well first’ and they know we Will be back as well next year “.
The council’s truck driver started his Santa On A Bike deliveries a few years ago while visiting friends and family – but the response has been so positive it made him want to open it up to the community.
“We started it well last year because before last year, for a few years before, we were just going around the homes of family and close friends and just handing out selection boxes,” a- he declared.
âBut last year, because all the children’s parties were canceled and all that stuff, we were like, ‘well, how are the kids going to see Santa Claus? “
“So my wife made my Santa outfit for me, then we decided to put a page on Facebook to see how popular it is, thinking we might end up making 50 or 60 visits – we ended up doing it. make more than 220 visits! “
âThe response has been incredible,â he added. âWe were full this year and we already have messages from people asking if we have slots for next year! “
Bryan and his wife Petra buy and pack the 250 selection boxes themselves and ask for a donation of Â£ 7 per visit – Â£ 1 for the selection box and a donation of Â£ 6 to a local charity.
The couple cover the Carmarthenshire area, as well as parts of Swansea, and regularly visit more than 50 children on a tour.
For Bryan and Petra, the hard work is worth it just to see a smile on the children’s faces.
“[When we arrive], you can see the joy on the children’s faces when Santa Claus gets off on a motorcycle! âsaid Bryan.
âI also put 200 extra lights on the bike, flashing lights that sort of thing. And because I have a Honda Gold Wing, I have a stereo built into the bike, so we play music. Christmas strong as we arrive too!
“The kids love it. The feedback we get is amazing. Absolutely amazing.”
While Bryan was isolating himself, Petra (who had PCR negative) donated the pair’s undelivered selection boxes to Ammanford Foodbank so they wouldn’t go to waste this Christmas.
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