Santa's summer surprise: Volunteers on sleigh collect for church foodbank

It may be the hottest season of the year - but Santa's sleigh has been seen around the streets of Staffordshire.

Dan Clarke dressed as Santa
Dan Clarke dressed as Santa

But Father Christmas hasn't been collecting mince pies, instead he's been picking up non-perishable food from residents in Penkridge.

The heart-warming initiative was organised by the Penkridge & District Round Table to support Penkridge Methodist Church's foodbank. Volunteer Dan Clarke dressed as Santa Claus.

It comes after the Round Table's annual fun run was cancelled due to coronavirus.

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Tim Rowlands, chairman of the group, said the Christmas-themed initiative was done to lift people's spirits during the pandemic.

They have been blown away by the generosity shown by the people of Penkridge. Two tonnes of food was collected on Saturday alone, with the group collecting more on Sunday.

Mr Rowlands, 40, from Penkridge, said: "This weekend was supposed to be our fun run and fun day which we hold in the last Sunday of June every year but because of Covid-19 and the pandemic, we had to cancel it.

"We thought we are not doing anything, any the sleigh is obviously not doing anything until Christmas. The food bank is being relied quite a lot at the moment due to people's circumstances.

"We just thought right, why not, let's get involved. Let's collect food for the local foodbank."

He continued: "It has been really humbling actually. I know it sounds dead stupid but we have had people coming out clapping us today.

"And we are like we are only doing what we like doing, sort of thing. We are only trying to help everybody. We were thinking we don't deserve to be clapped. It is very, very humbling."

He added: "The response from Penkridge people has been amazing. It really has. Basically we have been blown away by everyone's generosity."

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