Everyone talks about it coming earlier every year. It’s divisive. Some people love it whilst others want to hide away until it’s all over. Cue the oh so famous line in Slade’s seasonal hit….IT’S CHRISTMAS!
That’s right, we may still be in October but stores are already beginning to put up their festive decorations and the adverts are already starting on the television. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to escape it. Whatever your view, the encouragement of giving to those in need has to be seen some great feature of the season. So, what better way to get into the festive spirit than to sport some festive charity clothing whilst raising money for an excellent cause. That’s right, it’s the Do it for Charity Santa Run!
What is it?
This December, those in London will bear witness to an unusual sight. Over 4,000 Santa’s will be spotted walking, jogging and running around the city. Both young people and old people will be clad in their Santa gear, racing around the capital city all in aid for a good cause.
The Santa Run is like many other charity races. It encourages participants to sign up and gain sponsorship in order to raise money for some great charities. However, with this race, there is one big difference. The Do it for Charity Santa Run encourages participants to get into the festive spirit. Everyone who signs up to take part in this fantastic race will receive a Santa outfit that they are actively encouraged to wear for the duration of the event. Let’s face it though, who needs encouragement when the opportunity of wearing a Santa outfit is presented.
When is it, where is it and who can do it?
This year’s race will be held on Sunday, December 4th, offering just enough time to get into the Christmas spirit before the big day. It will be held at Victoria Park in London, an area chosen partly due to its easy accessible nature and partly due to its expansive green space. The park has been voted the nation’s favourite park for three years in a row, because, of course, only award winning parks will do for Santa! More importantly, there are also two cafés situated in the park, a perfect place to enjoy a well-earned mince pie after the race.
The event is open to everyone over 8-years old. For those mini Santa’s however, fear not, there is a free 200m race that anyone can enter. The event boasts two different routes, meaning it is accessible for a variety of fitness levels. For those who would prefer a shorter route, the 5km trial may be the best option. However, for those wanting a challenge, there is also a 10km route available. The official event page promotes the fact that this is an event accessible for all fitness levels, stating that it is perfect for the first time race participant. Although some may take this race more seriously, attempting to break personal records, the even is also very much family orientated. This means it is perfectly acceptable to simply walk the route or take it at any speed you wish.
Who does the race support?
One of the most impressive features of this event is that it benefits a multitude of charities. There is no single charity linked to the occasion but rather a large number linked to the organisation. Ultimately, this is the most important feature of the race. The race is vital in generating funding for a variety of important charities across the nation. Here we present just two of the charities linked to the event, providing some basic information about their aims.
The Alzheimer’s Society:
This year, the Alzheimer’s Society is acting as the headline charity for the event. Dementia is an ever increasing issue faced by much of the globe. Today, over 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK. This year alone, over 225,000 people will be diagnosed with a form of dementia. Scarily that’s one every three minutes and 1 in 6 of everyone over the age of 80. Unfortunately, this figure is set to rise. Studies suggest that over 1 million people will suffer from the illness by the year 2025 and 2 million by the year 2051. However, it’s not just those who are diagnosed with the disease that suffers. When looking at the relatives and carers of a dementia sufferer, the figures of those affect by dementia increase substantially. The Alzheimer’s Society offers invaluable support for both those diagnosed and those who care for loved ones with the illness. As the UK’s leading dementia support and research charity, this organisation is becoming increasingly important to society.
Mental health issues are sadly on the rise across the globe. Depression, anxiety and OCD, amongst other mental illnesses, can have devastating effects on those who suffer from them. Statistics show that currently a staggering 1 in 4 people across the globe are affected by mental health issues. That is an overwhelming 450 million sufferers, placing mental health conditions as the leading cause of ill health across the world. Mind is one of the UK’s leading mental health charities, with a mission to prevent anyone from facing a mental health problem alone. In the last year, Mind has helped a huge number of sufferers; responding to over 65,000 on helplines, training over 500 employees in mental health training and providing local services for over 375,000 people. This is a vital organisation that is desperately needed, helping many people combat such all-consuming conditions.
You can’t ignore the fact that, whist also sounding like a lot of fun, this event is also doing something incredibly important for society. The Christmas tradition of giving to others in need is a custom worth preserving. This race is an excellent way to get into the with a good conscious, knowing you are helping someone in need. For just £10 for those aged 8-17 and £25 for those over 18, you can begin gaining sponsorship to be a part of this fantastic event.