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Freestyling Santas Raise over £75,000 for CHSW

Steve Apelt and his team of Santas on the Run Freestylers

Over 1100 people across the south west took part in Children’s Hospice South West’s (CHSW) Santas on the Run Goes Freestyle virtual event at the weekend and have raised over £75,000 for the local children’s hospice charity with donations still coming in.

CHSW’s three annual Santas on the Run events, usually held at RHS Rosemoor, Bristol Harbourside and Eden, were turned virtual this year due to covid-19 Rick Dean and his granddaughter running in Buderestrictions, but this did not deter people from getting involved. The ask was simple; choose a route, a distance and a festive outfit and raise funds for the charity at the same time. The event was supported by Community Partner Whirlwind Sports.

With families, schools, sports clubs and businesses all getting involved in their own way, festive cheer certainly was spread across the south west. There were many Santas, elves and other festive characters to be seen on local walking, running and cycle routes. From hula hooping elves, tennis playing Santas and even an inflatable Christmas tree, raising Christmas cheer certainly was achieved this weekend.

Kiley Pearce, Events Fundraiser from CHSW, said: “We were overwhelmed with the number of people that took part in this event and it was fantastic to see them all posting their photos on social media showing how they had made the event their own. We had everything from Santas sea swimming to a running nativity scene; people really got creative.

It is humbling to see the amount of money raised to support local children and their families.

Money raised from this event will help CHSW to continue providing vital care and support to children with life limiting conditions and their families via their three children’s hospices; Little Bridge House in Barnstaple, Charlton Farm near Bristol and Little Harbour in St Austell.

This year CHSW has adapted its care model to incorporate Hospice, Home and Virtual; acknowledging the need to stay in touch with families and support them in new ways through these uncertain times.