Generous people in a busy town have saved their beloved Santa.
Christmas was almost cancelled for kids in Renfrew after local Father Christmas – Alex Kenmore – looked unable to set up his annual grotto.
But volunteers rallied round to ensure Alex was able to transform the front of his house and garden, in Paisley Road, into a winter wonderland.
Alex has happily dressed up as Santa in his grotto to hand out selection boxes for the past 12 years.
He was on the verge of cancelling this year because he was skint and suffering back pain.
Volunteers at the nearby Cherrie Centre and Diane Booth and her team at the Our Pace, Our Families charities caught wind of this and stepped in to ensure Alex could carry on as usual.
Father-of-four Alex, who is married to Anne, said: “I had no money to buy anything and my health wasn’t too good, and one day when I was talking to Diane I told her I couldn’t manage it this year.
“Then other people started to hear and word spread to the Cherrie Centre, so they had a whip round to help pay my electricity bill for the lights.
“When kids started coming to see me I felt guilty and didn’t want to let them down.
“They asked me ‘Have you fell out with Santa this year Alex?’
“That really got to me, so I started getting the lights organised.”
Our Place, Our Families donated 200 selection boxes, which are usually paid for through donations passers-by put in Alex’s wishing well in the garden.
Other big-hearted Renfrew people also handed in selection boxes, and Alex said the response has been heartwarming.
“Christmas has been saved for the kids.
“I put the lights up on Friday and I would like to thank all the volunteers at the Cherrie Centre and Diane and her team, as well as all the locals for their help and support,” said grandad Alex,53.
Kids are enchanted by Alex’s illuminated snowmen, reindeer, Santas on ladders, candles, snowflakes and stars.
And Diane said: “We were happy to help. The whole community loves seeing his lights and the children love getting to see Santa on Christmas Eve.
“Alex even has a tree in the garden where kids can hang their dummies up – they give up their dummies in exchange for their present from Santa, which is great.
“Tunnock’s, Thorntons and Matalan donated to our fundraising throughout the year, and we used some of the money to buy 200 selection boxes for Alex.”
● You can take your children to see Santa at Alex’s garden on Christmas Eve between 6pm and 7pm at 200 Paisley Road, and they will receive a selection box.