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1,000 Santas rally to help hospice

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 25 August 2010

RECORD ATTEMPT: Julia Hickson, Kat from Big Brother and Andrew Sayers.

RECORD ATTEMPT: Julia Hickson, Kat from Big Brother and Andrew Sayers.

MORE than 1,000 people dressed up as Father Christmas congregated in a town centre as part of a world record bid to raise money for charity.

MORE than 1,000 people dressed up as Father Christmas congregated in a town centre as part of a world record bid to raise money for charity.

Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice staff persuaded 1,600 residents to gather to march through Bexleyheath before the town centre's lights were switched on last Sunday.

Organisers failed in their bid to beat the world record for Santas gathered in one place, but still raised £15,000 for the hospice.

The march was attended by whole families, seniors and included baby santas in prams and some dogs dressed as santa.

Two live bands played and Kat 'Cookie' from Big Brother 9 was in the parade, whilst Anastasia from X Factor sang for the crowd.

Susan Adams, the hospice's community fundraiser said: "After snowing early in the day and then freezing rain showers, we had no idea how many would turn out.

"The atmosphere was great and the sky brightened and rain held off just enough for the parade. It was exactly how I had imagined - everyone was happy!"

Julia Hickson, a Trust Thamesmead employee from Dartford, said: "Dressing up as Santa was a fantastic way to raise money."

The Guinness World Record for Santas gathered in one place was set by 3,921 people in Liverpool City Centre in 2005.

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