Leighton-based KidsOut is appealing for more people to take part in the town’s Santa Dash on Saturday (November 29) to raise money for children who never get a Christmas present.
KidsOut, based in Church Square, supports children who have been victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, many of whom have seen what few possessions they have ripped up in front of them or have gone year-after-year without a present for Christmas.
Now they’re asking local people to put on a Santa hat and take part in the Santa Dash to raise money to help buy these children a toy or a day out.
Gordon Moulds, chief executive of KidsOut said: “It is shocking in this day and age, that we still have children suffering on our doorstep.
“We support refuges where these children are taken and we give them a chance to have their own toy or day out, just to show them that someone cares.
“It’s a very dark place for many of the UK’s children and every year as the Christmas lights turn on we know that for many children the Christmas season is one of violence and even terror. We want people to help bring some light and joy into their lives.”
At least 200 people are expected to take to the streets for the Santa Dash which will run through a 2.5-mile circuit of Leighton Buzzard from 11am.
Runners are supporting KidsOut which has been providing toy boxes and days out for children all over the UK for the last 20 years.
Now they’re asking for people to run, walk, hop, push-a-pram or whatever they fancy, to help these forgotten Christmas Children.
Last year KidsOut delivered over 1,500 toy boxes to children escaping violence and abuse.
Mr Moulds added: “You can’t underestimate the power of a simple toy to a child who has nothing. Doing a Santa Dash is fun and you can have a good time with friends but much more than that you can spread that fun and happiness to a child who feels lost and forgotten. It’s especially important at Christmas. So come and join in. Be a Santa to a lonely child.”
KidsOut want at least 500 Santa’s to join in take part and make a difference this Christmas. There will be a minimum donation of £5 per Santa runner and you can either dress up yourself or buy a Santa outfit from KidsOut for an additional £5.
For more details on how to join the Santa Dash go to www.kidsout.org.uk/santadash
> See the November 25 issue of the LBO for a preview of Leighton’s Christmas Festival Weekend.