Santa visit puts sparkle into Christmas for cancer tragedy tots

Santa paid a surprise visit to Toby and Grace McCran aged eight and three in a horse drawn sleigh
Santa paid a surprise visit to Toby and Grace McCran aged eight and three in a horse drawn sleigh

A surprise birthday visit from Santa put a little Christmas sparkle into the lives of two Mansfield Woodhouse children who lost their mum and dad to cancer this year.

Father Christmas took time out from his busy schedule to give little Toby and Grace Overton were a magic horse drawn sleigh ride when he called at their home on Saturday.

The visit organised by The Ostler Horse and Carriage Co from Teversal, arrived on Toby’s eighth birthday and it was a complete surprise for him and his two-year-old sister.

Their auntie Emma Overton said: “ We hadn’t told them so it was a lovely surprise.

“They deserve a little bit of magic this Christmas after all that has happened this year.”

Their mum Helen died in November after she lost her battle with cancer in the same year her partner and father both died from the disease.

Helen’s partner Steven Overton died of cancer in February.

Six weeks later Helen’s father John McCran, 62 passed away shortly before Helen herself was diagnosed with the illness.

Emma added: “We are sorting things out a bit now trying to get the kids settled with mum.

“It will be a long road with the kiddies, we are not looking forward to Christmas as there will be a lot of memories

“This will take their minds of things for a little time.”

Toby and Grace were given a ride in the sleigh carriage with Santa and met the two Irish horses Dolly and Daisy.

Amy Cook of the Ostler Horse and Carriage Co said: “We read about Helen and Steve and our hearts went out to the children.

“It was the least we could do at this bad time to make Christmas a little better for them.”

The Ostler Horse and Carriage Co is a family run business which offers carriages for weddings and funerals.

The Christmas sleigh rides with Santa for children are their latest venture.

Amy said: “ We offer a bespoke tailor made package to families who want to make their childrens’ faces light up and their Christmas dreams come true.

“Let Santa and his friends come and visit your home right up to Christmas eve to sprinkle a little Christmas magic.

“We have 19 different horses and offer tailor made packages for families to decide where and which horses they want.”

The Ostle Horsa and Carriage Co are running a competition on their Facebook page: for a family to win a Christmas Eve visit from Santa and a horse drawn sleigh ride.

The winner will be chosen on December 10.