The Santa's Squad Christmas charity float in Stoke Bruerne on Wednesday, December 15 2021. Photo by Kirsty Edmonds.

Santa visits Northamptonshire villages in Christmas charity float built from scratch - IN PICTURES

A father-of-three from Roade built the sleigh from scratch with the help of friends and family and now they are using it to raise money for food banks

By Megan Hillery
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:39 pm
Updated Friday, 17th December 2021, 8:16 am

Santa has been paying children a visit in Northamptonshire villages in a sleigh built from scratch to raise money for charity.

He came up with the idea after he saw a sleigh one year with his daughter, who was four-years-old at the time, on the back of a pick up truck. He told his daughter that he could put together a better one with reindeers.

Nobody took Luke seriously until he went out and bought the wood for his festive project.

His brother, Ryan, helped to build the sleigh and his father, Rob, donated the trailer and did the welding. His friend, Luke Haycock - described as 'a keen artist' - painted the reindeer. His cousin, Tom Smith, has been liaising with suppliers for donations to the Trussell Trust charity, who they are raising money for. Luke's wife, Lauren Costello, took on the marketing plans, Facebook page management and the mapping of the sleigh's route.

The group - along with residents, who have volunteered to help - are now in the middle of touring around Northamptonshire villages in the finished Christmas float, handing out sweets to children and raising money for The Trussell Trust.

Luke, who grew up in Potterspury, said: "We are halfway through and we have already reached our £2,000 target so we're going to try and up it to £5,000 and hope for the best really."

The completed float features a bright red sleigh with painted wooden reindeers - all lined with LED lights, fitted with speakers to play Christmas music and driven by a quad bike at the front.

Luke added that it is 'amazing' how his festive project has been received by communities. He said: "They all love it, even the big kids my age. It's just when they let go of their parent's hands, run up and hug Santa, that's the reason why we do it - it's the best feeling."

The group 'Santa's Squad' gained momentum on social media and received a wealth of donations including supplies to build the sleigh, sweets to hand out to children and a wealth of volunteers to help out.

When asked if he would like to do this again, Luke said: "Oh, definitely. This is the first year and it's amazing how we have already got to £2,000. I'd like to get bigger and bigger every year, get a bigger quad so I can go further distances and visit more villages really."

Santa's Squad have raised £2,300 so far and they will be visiting Blisworth, Milton Malsor, Old Stratford, Stony, Potterspury and Yardley Gobion before Christmas.

For more information, visit their Facebook page at

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