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Christmas Comes But Twice a Year

Visitors to Hollingworth Lake got more than they bargained for last Sunday (28th January 2018), when their view of the idyllic landscape was interrupted by an unseasonal sea of red and white.

Walkers couldn’t believe their eyes as they strolled along the shoreline of this Littleborough beauty spot, when a sled-load of Santas dashed or dawdled past them.

Springhill Hospice’s annual family festive fundraiser, the Santa Dash or Dawdle, was originally set for the second Sunday in December, however this year the plans of hundreds of Santas were scuppered when the weather took a turn for the worse.

Snow, ice and biting winds took hold of the area and following advice from Hollingworth Lake Rangers and the Met Office, the Hospice team were given no choice other to postpone the event.

“It was a tough decision but we always put the safety of our supporters first.  We had a great response from our Santas, who turned their disappointment into positivity by supporting the postponed event last weekend” explained Hospice Fundraiser Lillie Winterbottom

“Santas in January is certainly an unusual sight” added Lillie, “but people saw the funny side, especially when they realised it was an event in aid of Springhill Hospice”

“It’s heart-warming to know that the sponsorship raised by Sunday’s 350 Santas will pay for the care of patients at the end of their lives” said Hospice Chief Executive Julie Halliwell, adding “Springhill supporters are second to none and we are very proud of them.  On Sunday we celebrated, amongst other things, their steadfast support, their willingness to accept change and their fantastic sense of fun”

On the day, praise was given to all the 350 Santas who came along for being such good sports, as well as celebrating those who couldn’t make it on the day for their kind donations.

Illustrating the lengths that people will go to help out, the fundraising team have heard tell of a few break-away groups of Santas, those who couldn’t make it on the day or who actually walked around the lake in the snow in December. 

Springhill Santas even dashed or dawdled in Blackpool and for one supporter, going on holiday didn’t stop him from joining in;   Littleborough resident,  Mick Talks, had originally planned to take part in the December event, it was after the event was postponed that he realised that he’d be on holiday for the rearranged date.  But a date couldn’t stop this Santa, Mick simply packed his Santa suit into his Santa suitcase, travelled up to Gretna Green and to the amusement of the locals, did his Santa Dash or Dawdle there instead.

Springhill Hospice is delighted to announce the date for this year’s December Santa Dash or Dawdle.  Sunday 9th December 2018 will see hundreds more Santas, some of which will be celebrating their second Christmas this year.

Springhill Hospice would like to thank everyone who makes this event possible.  Rochdale’s Mayor and Mayoress Ian and Christine Duckworth, the team at Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre, Wardle Band, Elaine from Link4Life for helping to warm up the Santas, Springy, the local business who sponsored the event, Morrison’s for their last minute banana donation, all the fantastic volunteers who helped man the event on the day, volunteer photographers Alan and Ken and the staff at The Beach Hotel for their help with the route.

Springhill would also like to give special thanks to local residents for their understanding and help in making this the Dash or Dawdle such a spectacular seasonal success.