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‘Leave out a mince pie’ - Santa sets off in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 21:26 03 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:54 04 December 2018

Volunteers of all ages came to help with  the first of the Roundtable's Rudolph Run Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Volunteers of all ages came to help with the first of the Roundtable's Rudolph Run Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

It was all smiles and cheers as Rudolph and Santa began their famous tour around Ipswich.

The Round Table’s Rudolph Run set off from Ipswich Hospital tonight, visiting the town’s Australia estate with Santa at the helm of a huge Rudolph figure, complete with flashing red nose.

For more than 40 years the Rudolph Run has raised thousands of pounds for local charities, and this year Ipswich Round Table have chosen to support dementia care at Ipswich Hospital.

For Round Table chairman Grant Houlden, it was a decision that was very close to his heart.

“My dad has dementia,” he said.

Glenn Williamson as Santa for the night    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGlenn Williamson as Santa for the night Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“He had a stroke and that’s what brought it on so it was important that this year we supported the hospital’s dementia ward and the guys at Round Table have supported me back.

“I know what good care can do and I know how much is needed.”

Sister Helen Addison has worked on the Ipswich Hospital’s Grundisbrugh Ward, where dementia patients are treated, for ten years.

She said: “The Rudolph run is brilliant, it gives us an opportunity to buy equipment, even if it is just small things, to help the patients pass the time.

The annual Roundtable Rudolph Run will be travelling through the streets of Ipswich to raise money for Dementia Care at  Ipswich Hospital  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe annual Roundtable Rudolph Run will be travelling through the streets of Ipswich to raise money for Dementia Care at Ipswich Hospital Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It’s also a great moral booster for everyone who works on the ward, we all get to come out and be involved.”

Whilst the float is an important fundraiser, and will provide the ward with vital funds- it also heralds the start of the festive season.

Stuart Coy has been a mainstay of Round Table for a number of years, he said: “The Rudolph run just that bit special because of what it means around the town.

“It’s just amazing to see the kid’s faces when we come out, it’s a sign that Christmas is coming when Rudolph gets going.”

Volunteers set off from Ipswich Hospital on the Roundtable Rudolph Run 2018  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVolunteers set off from Ipswich Hospital on the Roundtable Rudolph Run 2018 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Santa Claus was kind enough to talk before he embarked upon his sleigh and took to the streets.

He said: “Ipswich is a very special place, it’s one of my favourite places to go in the world, the people here are very kind and I hope they give generously this year.”

“And children, be good right up until Christmas remember to leave out a mince pie, sherry for me and a carrot for my reindeer.”

To find out when you can see the Ipswich Rudolph Run passing past your house, visit the East Anglian Daily Times or Ipswich Star website.

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