A DISCOUNT retailer stepped in to be Santa to dozens of senior citizens over Christmas.

Wilkinson’s, at the Galleries shopping complex, in Washington, donated almost 50 gifts for older people who would not otherwise have received a gift at Christmas.

The store responded to a Be A Santa To A Senior appeal, run by care firm Home Instead Senior Care, based in Framwellgate Moor, Durham City.

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Home Instead owner Trudi Jameson said: “I am excited to have brought this scheme to Washington and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community and Wilkinson’s.”