HMS Sultan lend Santa a helping hand

A team of volunteers from HMS Sultan are sure to be in Santa’s good books this Christmas after offering to lend him a helping hand.

Divisional staff from the Defence College of Technical training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering stepped in after local community group the Gosportarians recently purchased a derelict sleigh to help raise funds for their ’ Santa’s Christmas Sleigh appeal  in aid of the homeless and the local food bank.

The team stripped the sleigh back to its original frame and then using templates and materials provided by the Gosportarians used craft skills taught within the Establishment to restore the craft.

In addition, colleagues from the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival School provided a graphic display to ensure that Santa had all the flight cockpit instruments he could ever need on his travels.

Captain Peter Towell, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sultan had the honour of passing over the reins back to Santa and The Gosportarians, alongside Petty Officer Adam Hilton and Chief Petty Officer Chris ‘Paddy’ Gilkes, the team who had undertaken the restoration.

PO Hilton said: “It’s been a fantastic project to work on, from taking the Sleigh from what was on the trailer when it arrived to what it is now has been incredible.”

“There has been a lots of help from people here and It’s great to be able to provide children with a sleigh that’s worthy of Santa, I think it’s going to bring joy to the local community.”

Malcolm Dent, Chair of The Gosportarians said: “We had initially started on plans to restore the sleigh ourselves within Fort Brockhurst, then the guys at Sultan heard about the project and offered to help renovate it for us and have been brilliant from start to finish.

"We’ve also had donations of the sparkling reindeer from my local hair dresser and another volunteer making the cushions in the Sleigh and it looks amazing.”

Although it will be a while before the Gosportarians Santa’s sleigh journeys around Gosport to say hello to local children (and adults). The Sleigh will be appearing in the Gosport and Fareham area from 2-17th December.

For further information of the Gosportarians Christmas appeal and where to see Santa please visit: http://www.gosportarians.co.uk/christmas.html

There has been a lots of help from people here and It’s great to be able to provide children with a sleigh that’s worthy of Santa, I think it’s going to bring joy to the local community.

PO Hilton