'Elmswell Elf' who secretly delivered 200 presents in village reveals identity

Tanya Utting alongside her daughter Tilly have been delivering Christmas gifts to Elmswell Picture

Tanya Utting alongside her daughter Tilly have been delivering Christmas gifts to Elmswell - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The identity of the big-hearted Elmswell Elf, who anonymously gave more than 200 presents to people around the Suffolk village, can be revealed today.

Tanya Utting, who lives in Mill Lane, Elmswell, said she initially started the anonymous gift-a-thon to help a group of residents living in Mann's Court, who had been having problems with nuisance behaviour in the area.

"They put a plea out on the Facebook community page, just asking for help and what they could do, so I thought I should spread some love, show them they're not on their own and that they're some nice people in the village.

Tanya Utting alongside her daughter Tilly have been delivering Christmas gifts to Elmswell Picture

Tanya and her daughter Tilly showing off the Christmas presents - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

However, soon Tanya had started delivering gifts to other parts of the village. 

"It's spiralled massively out of control. By Thursday 23 December I had delivered more than 200 presents."

Tanya said: "if I could deliver a gift to every house in the village I would, but it's just impossible - there are so many houses in the village now.

"I literally started at the very beginning of the village and worked my way through road by road. Its completely random which house gets which gift — I pack up all the stuff before I leave for work in the evenings, they sit in the car, and then when I've finished, off I go.

A present with the distinctive card, dropped off at a home in the village

One of the presents Tanya dropped off, with the distinctive card that accompanied them - Credit: Diane Biddle

Most Read

Tanya, who works at the big Tesco in Bury St Edmunds initially supplied the presents herself, but when her boss noticed what she was doing, she insisted that she find Tanya some stuff.

"She was the one who found me the plants and flowers" Tanya added. 

Tanya has not been doing the deliveries on her own either: "My daughter Tilly has been amazing. What a little helper.

"She hasn't said a word- anything to anybody- even when I'm waiting to do the drop off at school and people are quizzing me, she's just stood there completely poker faced and hasn't let on anything."

Tanya Utting alongside her daughter Tilly have been delivering Christmas gifts to Elmswell Picture

Tilly, Tanya's daughter has been a perfect little helper - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Elmswell Elf's gift-giving even attracted attention from beyond Suffolk — speaking about her appearance on ITV's This Morning, Ms Utting said "how the hell did I manage that."

"When I got the phone call I thought it was a villager winding me up, trying to get me to reveal my identity.

"But no, I went to London and was sat in front of Vernon Kay and Rochelle Humes."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter