Father Christmas made a flying visit to Holmbridge to meet the three young sons of stroke survivor Richard Ford.

The Ford family featured on the BBC’s DIY SOS show last week after an army of volunteer tradesmen transformed their home.

Former police officer Richard, 44, has been left paralysed by a brain stem stroke and TV producers stepped in to help adapt the family home to suit his disabilities.

The work was carried out over nine days last February but the programme only aired on Thursday. Listening to Richard’s wife Jude, 44, talk about how the stroke affected family life moved many to tears.

On Tuesday Penistone Round Table, which takes Santa around local villages in his sleigh, made a detour for Father Christmas to meet the couple’s sons Harry, 11, Oscar, eight, and five-year-old Archie.

Sleigh co-ordinator this year was Hoylandswaine builder Adam Stead, who spent six days working on the family’s home as part of the DIY SOS team.

Around 150 tradesmen gave their time for free and the hush-hush visit to Holmbridge was a Christmas present from Adam and friends.

Dad-of-one Adam, 31, said Jude was the only one in on the surprise though the boys knew something was happening.

With Santa’s reindeers saving their strength, Adam pulled the sleigh in his Land Rover Discovery.

“It was fantastic and the boys loved it,” said Adam. “There were about 35 children on the street and they all started cheering and wanted their pictures taken with Santa.”

Adam Stead, of AMS Building Services, (third right) who worked on Richard Ford's home in Holmebridge. Pictured with the DIY SOS team (from the left): Chris Frediani, Mark Millar, Billy Byrne, Julian Perryman and presenter Nick Knowles.

Father Christmas handed out sweets but had special presents for Harry, Oscar and Archie.

“We gave them selection boxes and a gingerbread house to make over Christmas. It is something the whole family can do together and will keep the boys out of mischief!”

Adam said he felt privileged to take part in the DIY SOS show and added: “It was something I was able to do and there are memories I will never forget. It was all about helping the family live some kind of normal life.”

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The entire downstairs of the house was ripped apart and an extension built to accommodate Richard’s needs. He has a new bedroom and a wetroom with a remote-controlled shower. Special doors have been installed and fittings have been lowered to suit Richard’s wheelchair height.

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Adam said watching the show was emotional and added: “It pulled at the heartstrings and I admit I did cry. I don’t know how Jude and the family managed before. It was great just to be able to help.”