Hundreds turn out to spread festive cheer

Santa's helpers at Oak Grove College'D14492343a

Santa's helpers at Oak Grove College'D14492343a

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CHRISTMAS events across Worthing raised thousands of pounds for charity this weekend and provided plenty of festive cheer.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the fourth annual Charity Christmas Fair at Oak Grove College on Saturday.

Organiser Hannah Mackrell said: “It went really really well. Everyone was wearing their Santa jumpers and one of our guys dressed up as a giant Christmas tree. There was music playing all the time. It set off the month nicely.”

The Luke Cory Trust and the Chanctonbury Community Play Scheme were the beneficiaries of money raised at the fair – with £1,054 being split between them. Both charities also had individual stalls, with CCPS raising another £500 and LCT raising more than £100.

The National Autistic Society donated a Christmas tree and decorations to be used inside a sensory grotto.

Worthing Scope’s Holly Fair at the Fitzalan Howard Centre, in Pavilion Road, Worthing, saw around 200 people turn up to share in the fun.

The event raised £2,478.08 for the independent charity, which will go towards providing services and assistance to local disabled people.

Tina Scott, Worthing Scope administrator, said: “The clients at our day centre really enjoy Christmas festivities. We would like to thank everyone for their support, particularly those who donated prizes for our raffle.”

Prizes included £500 cash, restaurant meals, food hampers and pantomime tickets.

A new bakery in South Street invited Santa and a choir to spread some cheer on Saturday. Worthing mayor Vic Walker and town crier Bob Smytherman also attended. Mulled wine and mince pies were given away to members of the public on a cold morning.

Gareth Busby, owner of Busby’s Bakery, said: “The public really enjoyed it and it gave us the opportunity to talk to some people. We’ve just launched gluten-free bread and they were asking about that.”

The bakery opened in September. Gareth said business had been slow to start with but had been building week on week.

“It’s looking very positive for the new year,” he said.

Worthing Running Sisters held their annual Christmas Cracker Race for women on Saturday. There was a choice of five or 10 kilometre ‘out and back’ courses over flat ground, starting at the Lido.

Some of the entrants were dressed festively and several Santas and elves were seen among the runners. Timings were taken, with prizes presented to the first three runners in both distances. Mince pies, mementos and crackers welcomed the returning runners.

Funds raised from the event went to the Camelia Botnar Centre and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Race organiser Emily Clement said: “We have been organising this popular event for a number of years and regularly attract over 100 runners. We always look forward to seeing familiar faces and welcoming new participants.”

Worthing Running Sisters have been going for more than 20 years and cater for women of all ages and abilities.

They meet at 7pm each Monday in different parts of Worthing to take part in pre-planned runs of various lengths.

For information, visit www.worthingrunningsisters.org.uk, email worthingrunningsisters@outlook.com or call 01903 830324.