THE red and white costumes were dusted down and given an airing for the annual Bury Santa Run, this morning.

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A record number of 279 people took part in the event which raises money for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Last year it raised £11,000 and organisers were hoping that figure could be beaten this time round.

“We won’t know how much we have raised until all the money has come in,” said Nikki Brown, Suffolk fundraiser for EACH. “But we’ve had a record turnout and it’s the biggest so far.

“Apart from the weather it’s gone really, really well. We’ve had more Santas then ever and hopefully will have raised more money than ever.”

The Santas, many made up of family and friends of all ages, went through a limbering up session outside the Apex where they had registered before setting off.

The route was supposed to have taken them through the Abbey Gardens but it was closed because of high winds.

And there was even some doubt about the walk taking place earlier today owing to the weather.

But organisers decided to go ahead and the Santas were led out by the trio of Al’s Jazzers, from Cambridge, who were taking part for the third year running.

From the Arc Shopping Centre the Santas went through the town centre along Abbeygate Street, Angel Hill, Mustow Street, Northgage Street, Looms Lane, Brentgovel Street, St Andrews Street South and back to the Apex.

Coming home first were Alana Wilson, 11, from Lackford, and Eoin Funnell, 15, from Thetford.

And the most amount of money raised was by the team from Hilltop House, in Heldhaw Road, on the Moreton Hall Estate, in Bury St Edmunds, who had between them raised £293.

Organises praised those who took part and thanked the many volunteers who helped out including a group from the twin air bases at Mildenhall and Lakenheath.

It is the eighth Santa Run to take place in Bury and there are two other similar events planned for EACH in Lowestoft, on Sunday, December 2, and Ipswich, the following Sunday, December 9.

There is still time to register. For information go to www.each.org.uk or call the Ipswich fundraising office on 01473 237243.

WITH only a few days to go, organisers of the Bury St Edmunds Santa Run are encouraging people to sign up to the fun festive event.

And they are also asking for more volunteers to help on the day.

Nikki Brown, Suffolk fund-raiser for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), said: “This is the eighth Santa Run to take place in Bury. The event has grown year on year and we don’t want this year to be the exception, so we are asking for people to sign up now and get involved.

“If you don’t fancy taking part, we also need volunteers to help with registration and marshalling the route.

“If you don’t want to take part as an individual, you could enter a team with your colleagues, school, social or community group.

“The money raised from the Bury Santa Run is vital to EACH – it means we can deliver care and support to local life-threatened children and their families.”

The Bury Santa Run takes place in aid of EACH at 10am, on Sunday, November 25, starting and finishing at the Arc Shopping Centre.

The route is about 2.5km, and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Entry fees are adults (age 14-plus) £10 including Santa suit or £8 without; children (age 13 and under) £5 including Santa hat.

To sign up visit www.each.org.uk/santaruns or call the Suffolk fundraising team on 01473 237243.

Online entry closes on Friday, November 23, and entrants can sign up on the day as well.

EACH aims to raise more than £5.75million from public donations to deliver their services this year (£15,000 every day of the year).

It supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and develops and delivers a range of services, including overnight short breaks, day care, specialist play, music therapy, hydrotherapy, parent and sibling groups, symptom management support, care at end of life and bereavement support for all family members.

It provides care and support wherever the family wishes – in their own home, in the community or at one of their hospices in Ipswich (The Treehouse), Milton or Quidenham.

Last year EACH, which has the Duchess of Cambridge as its patron, cared for 478 children and young people (a 21% increase from the previous year) and 572 families (including 455 siblings).

A total of 86,500 hours of care and support were delivered last year (an 11% increase from the previous year).

For more information about EACH visit www.each.org.uk or call the Ipswich fundraising office on 01473 237243.

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