The Co-operative Santa Dash raises £40,000 for Mencap

November 29, 2010

The frosty weather added the finishing touches to arrangements as hundreds of festive fundraisers dressed as Father Christmas to take part in The Co-operative Santa Dash in Manchester and London - on Sunday (28 November) - raising almost £40,000 for learning disability charity, Mencap.

Manchester’s Platt Fields Park

In Manchester’s Platt Fields Park, Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas was at the front of the pack of Santas - for The Co-operative’s second annual Santa Dash in the city – as they were set on their way by City of Manchester Lord Mayor, Councillor Mark Hackett.

Race winners at the finish line with Coronation Street's Ryan Thomas: L  to R  -  Grace Fisher, Ryan Thomas,  Ian Symington and Ashleigh  Williams

At the same time, Crystal Palace Park played host to The Co-operative’s inaugural Santa Dash in London, where local actress Kellie Shirley - well known for her role as Carly Wicks in BBC soap Eastenders - joined a sleigh-load of Santas for the festive fun.

Kellie Shirley (centre) - well known for her role in BBC soap Eastenders – joins in the festive fun!

The family-friendly events saw Santas running, jogging, walking and dancing around the 5k courses. Ryan Thomas said: “There was a fantastic atmosphere on the day and I was proud to be involved in such a fun-filled event that is raising money for a worthy cause such as Mencap - It was a great success and a tremendous way for The Co-operative to get its fundraising for its 2011 Charity of the Year off and running!”

Kellie Shirley continued: “It’s great that so many people entered into the Christmas spirit and came to Crystal Palace to support such a worthwhile cause.”

The Santa Dash is The Co-operative’s first event with its new Charity of the Year partner for 2011, Mencap. The Co-operative is raising money for Mencap in 2011 to help transform the lives and dreams of up to 20,000 young people with a learning disability across the UK – Inspiring young people with a learning disability to change their world for the better by helping them to gain new skills and the confidence to play a more active part in their communities.