A Sheffield businessman has got behind a campaign to transform the lives of struggling children – by starring in a music video as a grumpy Santa.
Hugh Facey, founder and chairman of city-based firm manufacturer Gripple, wants to raise £1 million next year for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, which provides educational opportunities for autistic and excluded children in Sheffield.
And as a trustee of the charity, he decided to launch the appeal himself this Christmas with a song and video featuring him playing the role of a grumpy Santa.
The video will be launched on Thursday, December 7 - with Sheffielders and Gripple customers around the world being encouraged to share it far and wide.
“We had an idea that Santa had been doing his job so long that he’s having a Christmas crisis and we wrote a song about how grumpy he has got,” said Hugh.
“Hopefully people will like the song and video that goes with it and make a donation to Whirlow Hall to help them do more for the children of Sheffield and South Yorkshire.”
The song - which is set to Ken Dodd’s classic ‘Happiness’ - features Hugh on lead vocals surrounded by a band of Gripple employees dressed as Santa’s elves.
However, the lyrics have been turned on their head as Hugh’s Santa ‘looks forward’ to another hectic festive season.
It is only in the final verse that Santa rediscovers his mojo when a group of excited children show up to receive their Christmas gifts.
“We just thought it could be a great way of raising awareness for the charity, which is fantastic but could be improved with better facilities,” said Hugh.
“The kids in the video were just great – they thought it was so funny.”
The campaign to raise £1 million for a new centre for autistic and excluded children has been timed to coincide with the farm’s 40th anniversary in 2019.
The money will also be used to improve the farm’s shop and butchers, and create a new cafe and restaurant facility for visitors.
Gripple donates one per cent of its profits every year to charity and last year gave £70,000 to good causes.
Earlier this year Hugh was awarded an OBE for services to manufacturing, innovation, exports and employee ownership, and will collect the honour at Buckingham Palace later this month.
The song is available to stream and download on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music,
with all proceeds going to Whirlow Hall Farm Trust.
The music video can also be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuDpeGz6MZY.