Ice skating, the Archer Project and Father Christmas - three great reasons to read today's Sheffield Star

Welcome to another jam-packed edition of the Sheffield Weekend.

By Lee Peace
Monday, 6th December 2021, 8:42 am

Our interview with Alan Turner should really get you in the festive mood as Christmas approaches just around the corner.

For he has been helping Father Christmas since 2005 and plays the role for the last time today bowing out at Kelham Island’s Victorian Christmas Market.

The 79-year-old has enjoyed his time as Santa Claus and always encourages his visitors to feel relaxed. Just don’t pull his beard!

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Ho, ho, ho - Alan looks the part.

He said: “Everybody wants to but sometimes I can see it coming and stop it.

“I haven’t really had any embarrassing moments, although a reindeer once prodded me as I bent down!

“On The Moor, someone said ‘Can I tell you something Santa, your beard is not real’. I said ‘I know, just don’t tell anybody’.”

You can read more about his story inside.

We are also highlighting how the Archer Project has been helping homeless and vulnerable people in a variety of ways for more than 30 years.

One person who has benefited from their support is Suzanne, who was living on the streets but has managed to turn her life around.

She now works at the project in the paid position of Progression Support Worker and enjoys helping others.

Suzanne said: “People should support The Archer Project because they can change lives, and just look at me, I’m living proof.”

We are also bringing you coverage of the British Figure Skating Championships that have been taking place in Sheffield.

The event has proven to be a wonderful chance not only to see some well-established names but also a first glance at the potential ice-skating stars of the future.

Talented skaters such as the Dundee-based Natasha Mckay and Ice Dance duo Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson, who could well be representing Team GB at the Olympics,

have all been out on the ice.

There has been a distinct buzz around the championships with the whole week being live streamed on and the senior performer-packed weekend will be streamed on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport apps.

Enjoy reading.