Santas take to the streets of Sussex in support of children’s charity

Supporters of Rockinghorse - a charity which supports sick and disadvantaged babies and children in Sussex - have been taking part in a ‘virtual’ Santa Dash.

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 2:24 pm

One of the highlights of the festive season in Sussex is the annual Santa Dash along Brighton seafront which regularly sees hundreds of Santas come together to run 5k for charity.

Understandably this year is a little different but that wasn’t going to stop these dedicated fundraisers from getting involved.

Over 50 people have taken part in sponsored 5k runs around their local areas, raising money for Rockinghorse.

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The race is usually organised by Commonwealth silver medallist runner, John Gladwin. who said: “I was delighted to help Rockinghorse deliver the virtual Santa Dash this year. It was their idea, and I am so glad they managed to get so many runners into the Christmas spirit in these times.”

Through rain, wind, and hail the intrepid Santas brought smiles and festive cheer to passers-by, managing to raise over £3,000 for the charity with their combined efforts.

This money will go towards the charities Christmas appeal which aims to support a range of different projects throughout the county such as virtual play sessions for children with additional support needs and helping young cancer patients and their families to manage their emotional wellbeing from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

Amongst the runners this year was Natasha Potter who had a great time running along Worthing seafront with her family: “We ran on Saturday afternoon and raised £270 between me, my husband Anthony and my sister Samantha Selby. It was very wet he got hailed on most of the way but were really spurred on by all the car hoots and children waving!”

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In Haywards Heath the St Francis Runners did their Santa Dash around the outskirts of the town, raising £250 between them. One of the runners, Lins Bains, really enjoyed the response they got: “We all had great fun, lots of toots, smiles and waves while raising some money for this worthy charity.”

Lucy Pond, the Challenge Events Manager at Rockinghorse, was determined to organise a version of the race this year despite the challenges: “I’m delighted that we could still put on the annual Santa Dash even though it was a virtual one. The support was fantastic with many previous Santa dash participants signing up once again.

“It’s a fun way for people to get involved in festive fundraising and raise awareness of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity.

You can also sign up for the charity’s Get Active challenge throughout January to get moving after any indulgence over Christmas. To find out more about this and the other ways to support Rockinghorse, just visit their website at: