Santas run through Bury St Edmunds in aid of EACH

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More than a hundred people dressed in Santa suits gathered in Bury St Edmunds town centre this morning to take part in a fun run.

The annual Santa Run, now in its eighth year in Bury, is all about having fun while helping to raise funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

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Carl Parnell, from Bury, took part with his five-year-old daughter Sophie and wife Emma.

He said: “Having a child makes you realise what the families go through and we support it any way we can because we put ourselves in their thoughts.”

On how it felt to dress up as Santa, Sophie said: “It makes me happy.”

Participants of a range of abilities took part, some running or jogging while others walked with dogs, pushchairs or wheelchairs.

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Kisten Steenkamp, from Mildenhall, and friend Kirsten Midyelt, from Lakenheath, ran together.

Ms Steenkamp said: “We’re both getting ready to do a half marathon in Reading in March and this is a charitable way to train.”

Today’s Santa Run was the third for friends Octavia Stoodley and Sally Walsh.

Miss Stoodley, 22, said: “I think it’s great, especially for the children - they just love it. It also gets the town together on a Sunday morning.”

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Among the sea of red suits were some festive looking dogs.

Mary and Kevin Lambert’s puppies Poppy and Pebbles were sporting Santa hats and coats.

Mrs Lambert said: “We take part every year but this year we decided it would be too far for the puppies to walk so we thought we’d come and support everybody else.”

The Santa Run route, which is about 2.5km, had to be changed at the last minute after strong winds destroyed stalls in the Abbey Gardens, forcing the area to close.

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EACH needs to raise more than £5.75 million in public donations every year in order to deliver its services.

To find out more, go to www.each.org.uk

For more pictures and coverage, see Friday’s Bury Free Press.

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