HO-HO-HOW MANY? It was a sight to be seen as 1,000 Santas marched all the way from Chorley town centre to the top of Rivington Pike, and then back again this weekend.
The biggest annual Jingle All the Way fundraising event yet saw the Santas take on the 15-mile trek to raise money for Derian House Children’s Hospice on Saturday (November 11).
Organised by Derian House ambassador Neil Hailwood, Jingle All the Way is now a Christmas calendar staple that sells-out months in advance and has so far raised over £200,000 for Derian House since it began.
Neil is aiming for this year’s donations to hit the £30,000 mark to celebrate Derian House’s 30th anniversary – and is almost there with a whopping £24,000.
Neil, 51, from Chorley, began fundraising for Derian House Children’s Hospice in 2012 in memory of a friend’s son who died at an early age.
Since then, he has walked, cycled, held online events, and hosted Jingle All The Way for the past six years.
“Seeing the seventh Jingle All The Way for Derian House unfold as I had planned was quite emotional – we said it was going to be the best day ever and we think it was,” said Neil.
“Who would have thought we would one day see 1,000 Santas walk from Chorley to Rivington Pike and back to Chorley? To everyone who took part, you are all amazing and we can’t thank you enough for choosing to get out of bed and dressed in red to make a difference to the children and families that really do need that support.
“Jingle All the Way is an amazing event, yes you might get a few blisters, but you have so much fun doing it – plus you’re doing it for a fantastic cause!
“There are many different ways to spend your spare time, and my little family try and put all ours into giving back to the families that really need that extra support – we do as much as possible for Derian House Children’s Hospice.
“There is still time to support the event by donating to the JustGiving page – it means so much to us, and will make a huge difference for families across the North West.”
Mick Croskery, Head of Income Generation at Derian House, said: “What an awesome day and an amazing turn out! Thank you to every single Santa who Jingled All the Way for Derian House this year.
“Neil is an ace guy, he works so hard on ensuring this event is so well organised and always runs like clockwork – we couldn’t be more grateful to him for all he has done for Derian children and families.
“In 2023 it will cost £6million to run services at Derian House with just 30p in every £1 of this coming from statutory sources and the rest coming our incredible supporters.”