Thousands already raised for charity through Santa’s tour of Stowmarket

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE - Credit: Archant

More than £3,700 has already been raised for charity through Santa’s 13-night tour of Stowmarket, which began after the town’s Christmas light switch-on.

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Lions run the Santa sleigh tour every year to spread festive cheer in the community as well as raise money for the organisation’s charities.

Last year just under £7,000 was raised for Lions charities and Santa tries to visit as many areas in and around Stowmarket as possible.

The Lions are helped by other organisations from the town, including the guides, Stowmarket Young Farmers, Saturday Club and Suffolk Family Carers.

Lion Kevin Parker, fundraising chairman and Santa sleigh tour manager, said: “We have been doing this for over 20 years now and each year we receive a fabulous welcome from the people and particularly the children of Stowmarket, Needham Market and Stowupland.

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE

Santa's sleigh tour, organised by Stowmarket Lions, has already raised £3,700. Picture: ROB HALE - Credit: Archant


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“We receive letters welcoming Santa, mince pies but most of all we receive smiles as we spread good cheer to everyone we meet – who in turn respond magnificently to support the work we do helping those less fortunate than ourselves in our local community through Lions charities.

“Last year we collected just under £7,000.00 which demonstrates fantastic support.”

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The tour, which started at the Christmas light switch-on in Stowmarket on November 24, will continue until December 23.

This year the Lions are working closely with Stowmarket Foodbank, which is one of the organisation’s charities, and 1,000 carrier bags have been printed with a list of items that the foodbank needs and where they can be taken.

Santa and his elves will also be at Asda in the town on Saturday, December 16, and Saturday, December 23, between 9am and 3pm, which is one of the places where food can be donated.

The purpose of the Stowmarket Foodbank is to provide individuals and families from the town and surrounding areas who are in crisis with emergency food parcels.

It is run in conjunction with other churches in the area, through Stowmarket Churches Together.

In general, Stowmarket Foodbank provides one or three-day emergency food parcels, containing dried and canned goods, plus tea and personal hygiene products.

Anyone wishing to donate food or volunteer can call 01449 774000.

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