A man who brought joy to many families each Christmas as Santa while raising money for charity was 'one-of-a-kind'.

Michael Senior, 74, passed away in December last year and The Packhouse, which hosted his Santa visits, and the community have paid tribute to him.

The Packhouse, an interior and lifestyle store located in Runfold just outside of Farnham, said they will no longer host their annual Santa visits as it “would not feel right” without Mr Senior.

They said: “He was a really lovely man who brought joy to so many families while raising money for charity – we will all miss his kind and generous spirit.

“We want to thank our Santa for the many years of magical memories he provided to children and families in our community.

“May his spirit carry on and continue to inspire kindness and generosity, especially during the festive season.

“Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones. He will be remembered fondly and missed greatly.”

Debbie Jones from The Packhouse, worked alongside Mr Senior as an elf for many years and describes his work as Santa as “magical”.

Ms Jones said: “He was so good with the children, if they wouldn’t come in due to being scared or some other reason he’d always come out to them.

“He went above and beyond and would start growing out his beard around September and even put whitening stuff in it.”

Any money that Mr Senior made from being Santa he would give to charities, believing all children need happiness at Christmas.

One parent said: “We’ve been visiting Santa with our son since 2018 and I’ve never met a lovely or more realistic Father Christmas.

“He was always so kind, patient and gentle and made us laugh by asking our son to leave out a cup of hot chocolate instead of a glass of sherry on Christmas Eve (which we duly did!).

“He was such a wonderful part of our festive season and we are really going to miss him.”

A tribute page has been set up for Michael where people can share their thoughts and make donations in his memory to Billingshurst Emergency Assistance Team, Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice online and Freeman Brothers, Billingshurst.

You can visit the tribute page at: https://michael-senior-2023.muchloved.com/

By Michelle Monaghan