A FORMER bouncer has been praised for his selfless community efforts before the lockdown – which has landed him a nomination at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.
Jordan Gray, from Grimethorpe, spent his Christmas dressed as Santa as he visited children across the area in a bid to raise spirits.
The 27-year-old bought small gifts for the kids and went to each home to deliver the presents.
During his Christmas-themed travels, he was determined to visit 20-month-old Kyle Keen, who was born at 24 weeks and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has a terminal illness, and make his final Christmas a magical one.
Jordan said: “It had been a bad year for everyone, but especially children who need that extra support.
“I wanted to do something for them whilst the Christmas grottos were shut.
“I loved doing this, as even though it felt like something small – people were really appreciative which was great.”
Jordan got to work at arranging something special for Kyle’s family, working around the clock to ensure the youngster received the many presents gifted by the community.
He also arranged carol singers, a special Santa walk and sold raffle tickets for the family to give him one last special Christmas.
“I was keen to go and visit Kyle to help him and his family in even a small way. I went and dropped off a lot of presents which he loved.
“Honestly, when I got back to my car I was very emotional. I had a lump in my throat, that’s for sure.”
Upon hearing the nomination as Children’s Champion at this year’s Proud of Barnsley, Jordan said: “It’s brilliant to hear I’ve been nominated. I’m absolutely speechless.
“I love my community and the people in it. I honestly didn’t expect this at all.
“It’s definitely nice to be appreciated and recognised for it. But I would’ve done this regardless.”