'True spirit of Christmas' – Hayden spends pocket money helping food bank
Seven-year-old Hayden Santer has certainly lived up to his surname this Christmas by using his own pocket money to buy groceries in our Blyth store and donating them to the town’s food bank.
Hayden, whose dad Matt is a security colleague at the store, was taken around the aisles by our community champion Diane Dinning, who's a big supporter of Blyth Food Bank.
She said: "He had his own trolley and Scan and Go handset and he went round the store picking up things that the food bank were short of. He's a lovely little lad who was really thoughtful about others
"What he did just melted my heart. It was just magical and showed the true spirit of Christmas ... and with his name being Santer too it made it extra special."
When Hayden, who goes to Horton Grange Primary School in Blyth, had spent his £20 he put all his shopping in the food bank trolley at the front of the store ready for them to collect.
Matt says he and his wife, Becci, are so proud of their son's thoughtfulness.
He said: "We don't shelter Hayden from an awful lot, we try to be real with him so he knows what's going on in the real world. He's quite inquisitive about things and is always asking questions and we try to be honest with the answers.
"He's seen the food bank trolleys in the store and the food bank people when we have been shopping sometimes and he has asked about it, so he knows that there are a lot of people who are struggling at the moment.
"One day he just turned around and said 'can I do a food bank shop so people can have a nice dinner this Christmas'. So I said I'd speak to Diane and see if she could get a list of what the food bank really wanted at the moment.
"He's a really good kid who makes us proud every day, even if it's just holding the door open for people. We like to instil good manners into him as they cost nothing.
"It's quite fitting really with our surname that he's done this at Christmas."
Despite all the family's Christmas kindness, Matt says that having a surname of Santer, does have its downside however at this time of year.
He said: "I can't book a table at a restaurant or get a taxi at this time of year as they think I'm on a wind-up because obviously you have to give your surname. I just say Matt and they say 'no, we need you surname' and I say 'no, trust me you don't' and then when I give it the line goes dead. But I've had 39 years of it so I'm used to it and In the end I usually use my wife's maiden name.
"Hayden absolutely loves his surname. His friends call him Hayden most of the year but when Christmas comes around it is 'Santa' and they ask if he's related to the real Santa. He says 'well, kind of'' and says that I'm one of Santa's Scouts and that's why we've got the name. We make up stories that we are non-elf helpers who are relaying information back to Santa to make sure that everyone is behaving.
"It's toned down a bit for me now I'm an adult, but in my teenage and younger years it was quite entertaining. Hayden has got it all to come!"