The Santa Bus is Coming to Town

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Children around Brighton & Hove enjoy a visit from the Santa Bus once again as it makes its rounds starting today through to December 13th.

The scheme, set up by The Argus Appeal, is raising money for those in the community that need extra support, such as the disabled, the elderly or disadvantaged children.

Brighton’s Santa Bus is one of the many various fundraising events that the charity holds throughout the year, with others including sponsored bike rides, golf tournaments and concerts.

The Argus Appeal aims to raise a minimum of £200,000 every year, with every penny going to the individuals, groups or external charities that they think need it the most.

One of the latest examples of external charities that the Argus have assisted in raising funds is for the homeless aid charity Off the Fence.

Off the Fence had a Big Sleepout event in Hove Primary School on November 16th, where around 30 people slept under the stars in hopes to raise around £10,000.

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Some of the participants of the Big Sleepout in Hove, braving the coldness of night (photo courtesy of Andy Heald

In addition to help from the Argus Appeal, other organisations such as the Martlets, Age Concern and Rockinghorse Children’s Charity all pitched in.

The Santa Bus has been designed to raise awareness of these sort of events in local people that may be unaware of fundraising events, and to get people involved in the community spirit.

In the past few days, envelopes have been delivered to the houses on the route for donations to be put in, and the money will then be split between the Argus Appeal and the Martlets.

Last year, the Santa Bus rose over £21,000 from more than 150 homes across the area, setting a new record for the appeal.

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Editor of the Argus, Michael Beard, collects last years cheque with Esme Slater, Jo Tugwell and Andrew Farmiloe from Lloyds TSB City Park Hove and Caroline Lower chief executive Martletts Hospice

Numbers are expected to be even higher this year, as the hike from £10,000 in 2011 to the £21,000 was quite significant.

Elsa Gillio, The Argus Appeal organiser, said: “We get families calling up around this time of year to find out when Santa will be visiting their road.

“It is a great Brighton and Hove tradition with money raised going to two very good causes.”

The bus’ journey has started in Hangleton, and on its way to the final stop in East Saltdean it will visit Patcham, Hollingdean, Hollingbury, Stanford, Moulsecoobe, Whitehawk and Woodingdean.

To see when the Santa Bus will be paying a visit to your home, go to http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10822333.The_Argus_Appeal_Santa_Bus___full_schedule_dates_and_locations/

By Lewis Parker

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