If you happen to live on-and-around Allendale Road in Loughborough, you may have recently received a visit from Santa Claus and his entourage of merry, festive elves! But these weren't just any elves... they were Chesterton House elves, and they're task was to follow Santa on his sleigh and help raise money for Rainbows - East Midlands' only hospice for children and young people. John Bolton, Chesterton House's resident Santa, has the story.
Children love Christmas.
That's probably the most obvious statement we have made on the Chesterton House blog, but whether it's the flashing lights and decorations, time off school, tons of chocolate or the notion that Santa is coming to give them the most deepest and desperate desires of their hearts (if they've been good).
Unfortunately some children aren't as fortunate, and there are many local families who could know that this may be their last Christmas as a family.
Rainbows is a place where life limited children and their families can find care and support. They have an incredible team of people on hand to help relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, care for children at the end of life and support parent and sibling through their bereavement.
To be able to maintain this level of support they need donations from people such as yourselves, so we descended upon Allendale Road in conjunction with the Round Table to help fill the coffers!
First of all, as seems to prefix many of Chesterton House's events and gatherings, it was raining. We all met in a car park near to Allendale Road and made all the preparations necessary for collecting. Santa went and got changed into his work clothes in a local café's toilets, while the elves donned their hats and high-visibility vests. Then it was time to gather together for a quick photo before the elves hopped onto the sleigh and the show began.
Santa's sleigh was travelling at a whopping 10mph, however the wind and rain drove on and we felt like we were truly flying. We stopped off at various rows of houses, and began collecting. While we thought the pouring rain would put off lots of parents, the kids didn't care - they just wanted to see Santa!
The high point of our trip was definitely seeing the big cheesy grins on the faces of children when they saw us, as well as the animated waving. At one point a particularly excitable girl climbed onto the sleigh, sat next to Santa for a picture and a hug, before politely refusing to let go of Santa.
The sleigh hit some turbulence on some occasions, including a particular bump that flung the elves into the air. Luckily our elves were extremely cheery and full of merriment, so they weren't fazed and carried on with their mission - to raise as much money as possible for Rainbows.
Overall we raised £655.14, which included Chesterton House doubling our proceeds - pretty good considering most people just wanted to stay inside wrapped up warm inside (for which we can't blame them - to paraphrase the famous Christmas song, the weather outside truly was frightful).
Rainbows informed us that this was enough for the following gifts:
Thank you to everyone who helped, donated and organised this fantastic charity collection - especially Richard, Phillip, Lisa, Inga, Elaine, Julie, Paul, Jordan, Beth, Ross and Gem. If you would like to learn more about Rainbows and the work they do, or to donate, then please click here.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also like Chesterton House Wears It Pink!