Santas in trainers at Herne Bay

Herne Bay’s coastline was filled with Christmas cheer and the sound of more than 1,100 pairs of Santa feet on Sunday, as fancy dressed fundraisers took part in the festive fun run for Pilgrims Hospices.

Adults of all ages, children and festively dressed furry four-legged friends raced, jogged and walked along the town’s seafront for Santas on the Run!

So far this year the event has raised over £30,500, which is set to rise even further as more sponsorship comes in daily for the much-loved hospice charity. With over £12,000 being raised through sponsorship from generous friends and family.

Crowds of spectators watched as the hoards of white-bearded participants gathered for the start at the town’s clock tower, ready to cheer them along for their 5k or 3k dash beside the sea.

This event is a feel-good day out for all of the family to start off their festive season.

Lydia, Pilgrims

Lydia Todd, Community Fundraising Officer for Pilgrims Hospices, said: “This was our second Santas on the Run! The day was an absolute success and we’re over the moon with how it went.

“It was fantastic to see so many Santas taking part on the seafront in aid of local hospice care; 200 more than last year; supporters have spread the word and love for our event.

“We are already receiving some amazing feedback from our supporters. This event is a feel-good day out for all of the family to start off their festive season and I hope it becomes a tradition for many families.

“The hospice would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the headline sponsors, Wahl UK, who also entered over 30 Santas for the event. Sponsors Active Business Group who entered a team of dressed up dogs and other business supporters Jenner Construction Ltd., Makcari’s Coffee Shop, Herne Bay Rotary Club and all of the marshals and volunteers who gave up their Sunday to help on a safe run!”

This care continues 24/7 throughout the Christmas period so, as Lydia aims, the funds raised by the sporty Santas will help provide vital care:

“Every £20 raised by this event could pay for an hour of nursing care for a patient on our wards, within Pilgrims’ Therapy Centres or at home. A huge thank you and Merry Christmas, we really could not do it without your help!”

Each year Pilgrims supports hundreds of local people coping with a life-limiting illness and their families. The charity offers a range of services: from end-of-life care given on its wards to its Wellbeing and Social Programme supporting people after they are diagnosed to live well and stay independent.