"Reddy" for Santathon

Fifteen members of a fun loving family will be stepping into Santa suits and painting the town red for a 5 kilometre charity challenge in memory of their loved ones.
Pic A Martin family and others websized (cropped)
Three generations of relatives of John and Sheila Norris, (pictured) who were cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before they died of lung cancer, and their partners, will take part in the seventh annual Santathon on Sunday, December 13th.

Pic B John and Sheila Norris resized
This is the third year their grandson Paul Martin and his wife Rebecca have signed up for the festive run with their children Sarah, 13 and Sophie, 8.

"There is always a great atmosphere and a wonderful community spirit," said Rebecca, a pharmacy technician from Romford.

"As we are running around the streets there are people coming out of their houses to cheer you on. It is a fantastic cause and everyone is so friendly."

Sarah said, "I love getting dressed up in the Santa suit. Last year it took me 32 minutes and this time I want to do it even faster."

The event kicks off at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club's ground in Victoria Road, Dagenham before the family, who will be among more than 300 Santas, make their merry way through the surrounding streets.

Other family members were inspired to get dressed up in the classic red outfit after John Norris passed away at the hospice in April this year.

"This is the first time I've taken part and it seemed like a really nice thing to do for both of our parents," said his daughter Sheila Lee, who will be running alongside her husband Mark Lee.

"The hospice was fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the nurses were so lovely. They were also wonderful when they looked after our mum in 2005."

Katy Woodgate, Events Manager at the hospice, said, "Make this a Christmas you will never forget and sign up for the festive work out.

"It doesn't matter if you run, walk or crawl, it is guaranteed to be great fun.
"At the same time you will be supporting Saint Francis Hospice and helping us to continue providing excellent care to people affected by life limiting illnesses."

Entry costs £10 for adults, £5 for children and includes a free Santa suit.

To sign up, visit www.sfh.org.uk/santathon or call the hospice events team on 01708 771 427.

Pic B John and Sheila Norris resized
The Martin and Lee families prepared for the Santathon with their running numbers including Sarah Martin (front on the left), Rebecca Martin (middle row second from left) and Sheila Lee (middle row on the right).