28 Dec 2020 Community
Richard’s Christmas Reindeer take over Mirfield
Something that started off as a way for Richard Smith to bond with his youngest grandson one afternoon in November, quickly developed into special way to raise money for The Kirkwood.
One weekend in early November, Richard Smith set out to create a miniature wooden Reindeer with his youngest grandson, Denver, but little did he know how popular they would become with his friends and family.
Richard, who lives in Mirfield, decided to make the Reindeer out of leftover wood from cutting down dead trees in the local church, and after he had trialled the design with Denver, his wife suggested making them for friends and family to help raise money for The Kirkwood.
Richard said: “I wanted to find something fun for Denver to do whilst he visited one Sunday. The day before he came, I made the first Reindeer and got all the pieces cut ready for Denver’s. He helped me carve the face and put his antlers and eyes on. It all snowballed from there after that!
“We have a couple of granddaughters too, so we made more for their families and that’s when my wife suggested making half a dozen to raise money for The Kirkwood. I shared a post on Facebook that evening saying we’d be making six and within 24 hours we had 25 people wanting a Reindeer.
“I made the mistake of putting the ones I made outside ready for people to collect and suddenly we had loads more orders! In total we made around 86, including the original few we trialled.”
Richard also created a Reindeer and donated it to The Kirkwood, which he nicknamed ‘Kirk’, that is now proudly displayed in the hospice.
To complete the Reindeer, Richard’s son, Dan, who owns Taylors Mirfield, made a special name tag for Kirk.
The Kirkwood holds a special place in Richard and his family’s hearts as his dad was cared for at the end of his life by our teams. Since then, Richard and Dan have continued to raise money in memory of his dad.
Dan first organised a group Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge with friends and family and more recently, took on the three peaks with his cousin, Megan Birkhead, who is an Auxiliary Nurse on our In-Patient Unit.
After another successful fundraiser that has brought some festive spirit to the whole family, Richard raised a staggering £2,127 by asking for donations in return for adopting his Reindeer.
Richard’s craftmanship has proved so popular that he already has over 30 orders for Christmas 2021 and is set to begin making the figurines much earlier in the year.
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