Santa hits the streets - 500 times over!

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash Abigail and Claire Curling PNL-161112-142739009
Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash Abigail and Claire Curling PNL-161112-142739009

You’d think he would have more than enough on his plate already (especially at this time of year) but Santa could be seen pounding the streets of Hemel town centre on Sunday morning.

In fact with 520 Santas on display the town turned red and white, as part of The Hospice of St Francis’ ninth annual Santa Dash.

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash PNL-161112-142822009

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash PNL-161112-142822009

The gaggle of Santas of all ages set off at 10am to walk, scoot or sprint the 2.5-mile dash from the Riverside and taking in the High Street and Gadebridge Park.

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The speediest Santa was Cosmo Craven, from London, who made in back in just 15 minutes, but was soon followed by many others, including seven-week-old Joshua Smith who was carried around the course by dad Duncan and mum Michelle.

The prize for the best-dressed Dog donning the most festive outfit was Switch, a rescue dog from Chesham, who won a dog grooming voucher from Groom in Berkhamsted.

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash PNL-161112-142801009

Hospice of St Francis Santa Dash PNL-161112-142801009

The event was sponsored by Hemel’s Belvoir Lettings, and although the cash raised is still being counted, every penny will help it support over 2,000 people who are affected by life-limiting illness in Herts and Bucks every year.

The next Hospice event is Wear it Festive Day this Friday (December 16) and everyone is encouraged to wear a festive jumper or accessory, donate £1 to the hospice and help it raise the over £5million it needs every year to sustain its free services. Text HOSF16 £1 to 70070 to donate and make a difference today.

Lauren Parker, events fundraiser at the hospice, said: “We’re so grateful for the amazing support we’ve received not only from all our volunteers, marshals and 520 Santa’s but also from Mike Penning, Belvoir Lettings, Riverside Shopping Centre and everyone else who contributed in any way.

“We couldn’t have done it without you”

To find out more about the Hospice, which relies on voluntary donations for 80 per cent of its £5million annual running costs, visit www.stfrancis.org.uk