Sidcup Rotary Club's vintage sleigh raises £12,000 for good causes
PUBLISHED: 14:21 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 19:50 30 December 2019
A Rotary Club has raised a staggering £12,000 for good causes - thanks to the renovation of its vintage Santa sleigh.
The Sidcup Rotary Club Santa Sleigh collections raised the money after many hours' effort over the summer.
They were spent renovating and rebuilding the sleigh which later carried Santa around the area in the run-up to Christmas.
The sleigh is at least 35 years old and the system which plays carols and controls the festive lights had become unreliable.
Club president Roger Watson said: "This Christmas we have raised a fantastic £12,000 with our street collections. Money raised will go mainly to a number of local charities as well as some national and international aid.
"Sidcup you have done us proud once again - Thank you so much.
"Santa and his sleigh are our main fund raising event of the year. Thanks also to our fantastic members and volunteers elves who turned out to help with the door-to-door collections every night and sometimes in the freezing cold.
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"They were helped on their way by some residents bringing out mince pies and even a sherry or two.
"Santa was with us and chatted to all the boys and girls and our newly renovated sleigh provided Christmas music and carols as we toured the streets. Children were able to plot our progress through the streets with our hi-tech satellite GPS system.
"We hope to see you all again next Christmas."
Peter Allsop, who has been a Santa for a number of years, said "It's not possible to be Santa on every collection date so we take it in turns.
"It's probably the most rewarding part of the entire operation. It's lovely to see the wonderment on the faces of the children.
"The sleigh covered 88 roads in and around Sidcup and appeared at garden centres, railway stations and shopping centres".
Each year the club then sifts through all the local charities and decide which ones to support.
Anyone who still wants to make a donate to local charities via the Rotary Club of Sidcup can do so at https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/9427