The Southport Hesketh Round Table Father Christmas sleigh

It’s been an unusual year but not even a worldwide pandemic will stop Santa from riding his sleigh around Southport this Christmas!

The Southport Hesketh Round Table Santa and his festive elves WILL be carrying out their sleigh ride tours across Southport after the lockdown ends on 2nd of December.

And, while the float tours may look a little different from years gone by, they have never been more important because each of the charities and local community projects behind them have lost income as a result of the coronavirus.

Marc Foreman, Vice Chairman estimates they have lost up to £15,000 after major fundraising events, including the bonfire display and Mad Dog 10k, had to be called off. And 100% of all these donations go towards local charities and community projects. 

He hopes families who watch Santa’s sleigh route will give generously – although rather than dropping their loose change in a bucket, they will go online using a Justgiving donations page. 

 “We are ecstatic with the news that we’re now in a Tier 2 region that we can now travel the streets of Southport,” Marc said.

Collectors will not be knocking on doors and families should wave at Santa and his elves from their windows or doorsteps rather than approach the sleigh to keep to the social distancing guidelines.

“I think it’s really important for local children that we do the float – otherwise the message is that Santa can’t come because of Covid-19 and nothing can stop Santa from visiting,” Marc said.

The full itinerary will be published nearer the time on the Southport Hesketh Round Table Facebook page (@SHRT1199) where people can also make a donation using the just giving page, and on the Stand Up For Southport Facebook group. 

“At the moment we have lost all of our donation channels after we had to cancel the events, and the 2020 donations are down,” said Marc. He adds “This year we received a fantastic donation to purchase a new sound system for the float from Methven UK Ltd, supplier of premium showers and taps, so this will enhance the Christmas Spirit this year”.

Southport Hesketh Round Table donates to a host of good causes annually and Marc suspects there will be more causes that need help next year, as a result of the pandemic.

As well as the sleigh ride, the charity is supporting Families in Need that are struggling for a Christmas Dinner this year. They have pledged to provide the ingredients for a Christmas dinner and a few Christmas presents or games for 60 local families in the local area. They are working with the Southport schools and local council to ensure that these families can enjoy a Christmas dinner and something that most of us take for granted on the special day. 

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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