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Santa Dashes & festive food & drink trails: 2023 Christmas fundraising events

Melanie May | 22 December 2023 | News

Out of focus christmas lights in a tree shape by Tim Mossholder on pexels

It’s that time of year when all sorts of fundraising events take place in support of good causes across the UK. Here’s a selection.

Hospice of the Valleys event fills the Welsh Valleys with light and song

A special remembrance service took place on 5 December, organised by the Hospice of the Valleys as part of its annual Light up a Life campaign and featuring readings and reflections, performances by Abergavenny Borough Band and the Cân Aderyn Singers, and the charity’s Christmas tree light switch on. The remembrance service is an opportunity for anyone in the local community to remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones in the lead up to Christmas.

The event was free to attend, and voluntary donations are welcome throughout the Light up a Life campaign period to support the work of the hospice’s clinical teams over the festive period.

St Giles Hospice hosts Light up a Life services to remember loved ones this festive season

Sunday 26 November marked the first of St Giles Hospice’s Light up a Life services. Each year families and loved ones come together for the remembrance events, held across the region, and organised by St Giles. Light up a Life services are open to everyone and offer the chance to remember family, friends, and colleagues at this special time of the year.

The first one took place at Lichfield Cathedral, with others at locations including St Giles Hospice in Whittington, and St Editha’s in Tamworth. There was also a virtual service on 12 December. People take part in Light up a Life by dedicating a light in memory of their loved one on the Light up a Life tree and joining St Giles at one of their special services. Everyone who dedicates a light receives a special keepsake Light up a Life card to display at Christmas time, featuring their dedication along with a bookmark featuring a poignant poem of remembrance.

Sea of Santas raises £42,000 for Brian House Children’s Hospice

Nearly 1,700 Santas turned Blackpool’s promenade into a sea of red at this year’s Blackpool Santa Dash, with the annual event expected to have raised more than £42,000 for Brian House Children’s Hospice.

Blackpool Santa Dash is a longstanding event in the town’s festive calendar, attracting people from across the Fylde coast and beyond for a 3k ‘dash’ from Sandcastle Waterpark to The Manchester pub and back. Organised by Brian House, every penny raised through sponsorship helps to provide children’s hospice care for local families across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

GOSH Christmas Carol Concert raises over £500,000

Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity held its Christmas Carol Concert in London on 12 December, raising more than half a million pounds. Stars in attendance included Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter and Lenny Rush. The money will be used to help build the new Children’s Cancer Centre.

Archers Festive Tractor Run

The Archers Festive Tractor Run took place for the fourth year running in Leicestershire on 17 December, raising funds for four charities: Leicestershire MS Therapy Centre, Loros Hospice, Wishes 4 Kids, and Rainbows Hospice for Children & Young People. So far it has raised over £15,000 online. It saw around 280 vehicles decorated in fairy lights take part, making their way through 10 towns and villages.

MAZImas Trail

The MAZI Project’s MAZImas Trail in Bristol invites people to enjoy food and drinks while supporting local independents as well as 16-25 year olds in the city who are battling food poverty – which is who the charity helps. There is a trail map showing the locations of participating independents who are supporting the trail in a variety of ways including by donating a percentage of a product or sale, inviting people to add £1 or more to their bill as a donation, making a £1 donation to the charity for every bottle of wine sold, and donating prizes.