1,000 Santas take to streets to top £25,000 for Hampshire hospices

Daily Echo: The Santa Dash in aid of Oakhaven Hospice fills the street in Lymington. The Santa Dash in aid of Oakhaven Hospice fills the street in Lymington.

THEY ditched their sleighs and opted for just their two feet to race their way through Hampshire’s streets.

In what has been a record-breaking year, more than 1,000 Santas ran through the streets yesterday to take part in festive charity missions.

Winchester and Lymington became a sea of red and white as jolly Father Christmas fundraisers descended to raise more than £25,000 for two charities.

Daily Echo:

In Lymington organisers were stunned when an incredible 700 Santas turned up for the fifth annual Santa Dash – double the amount they had last year.

The 3km route started from the High Street and saw fundraisers of all ages take part including children, Santa’s elves and even dogs who were dressed up as Father Christmas.

It will take time before all the sponsorship is collected but organisers believe that an estimated £10,000 has been raised for Oakhaven Hospice, which costs £3m a year to run.

Daily Echo:

Mike Denny, head of fundraising at Oakhaven, said: “It has been an absolutely fantastic event and to double the amount of Santas this year is just incredible.

“As we are in our fifth year now word has obviously got around about what a great cause this is and how important it is in Lymington, and it is also a great fun community event that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“We are totally reliant on community events such as this to raise vital funds, so we are thrilled that so many people joined in and took part.”

In Winchester the fifth annual Santa Run was full to capacity, with 350 ho ho hoing fundraisers turning up at O’Neills for the start of the race, 100 more than last year.

Having raised £10,000 last year with 250 Santas taking part, it is hoped that this year’s total raised for Naomi House will push over the £15,000 mark.

Keith Wilson, from Naomi House, said: “It has been a brilliant day to see so many Santas out in force.

“It costs around £10,000 to run the hospice for a day so we have paid for a nice chunk, which is fantastic.”

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