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Santa Dash this Saturday

“We’re quite well known in town for our Santa Dash,” said Sioned Parish-James, KidsOut Children’s Services Coordinator. “It’s a great way to raise awareness for the charity, and in such a fun and festive-spirited way.”

On Saturday, the 28th of November, KidsOut will once again hold its annual Santa Dash to raise money for disadvantaged children. Starting at 11 a.m. in Leighton Buzzard’s Church Square, the 2.5-mile circuit will pass through Parsons Close Recreation Ground, over to Grovebury road, and finish once again in Church Square, where participants can join KidsOut for post-run mince pies and mulled wine.

Organised by the Leighton Fun Runners, the event is open to all ages and abilities, costing a minimum £5 donation to enter and additional £5 to purchase a Santa suit. “Last year there were a lot of people who simply walked it together,” said Parish-James, who participated in the run in 2013 with her dog and friend’s five-year-old daughter. “Everyone pretty much dresses up: babies, dogs, children, and the elderly. We’ve even had Andrew Selous (MP for South West Bedfordshire) participate.”

Typically held the last Saturday of November, the Santa Dash is a fixture of the Leighton Buzzard Christmas Festival weekend, this year running from the 27th-29th of November. “It’s great to see so many Santas, you really feel as though Christmas has arrived in Leighton Buzzard,” said Parish-James. “Everyone is so friendly and lots of people come to watch and cheer. It brings people together.”

The event accompanies the weekend’s Fun Fair, Santa’s Grotto and normal Saturday market, and will include competitions for best-dressed person and dog. Medals are awarded to all finishers, and all proceeds will go directly to providing fun opportunities for disadvantaged children. “We had 180 people participate last year and are aiming for 200 this year,” said Stewart Moulds, Head of Fundraising. “We hope to raise £1,500 for our Children’s Services, which is quite a high goal.”

The only national charity based in Leighton Buzzard, KidsOut is celebrating its 25th anniversary year, aiming to extend its services to 50,000 children this year alone. “For 25 years, we have brought fun and happiness into the lives of children who have already experienced far too much for their young years,” said Gordon Moulds, KidsOut CEO. “Whether afflicted by poverty, domestic violence or living with a learning disability, in this anniversary year KidsOut is committed to bringing excitement to even more disadvantaged children.”

“This event would not be possible without the help of the local community,” said Stewart Moulds. “The dedication of our Community Committee, local businesses and schools is pivotal to our work in the Three Counties area, and we really appreciate the consistent support we receive each year.”

KidsOut invites everyone to don a Santa suit and participate in the Leighton Buzzard 2015 Santa Dash. For more information or to reserve your space, call 01525 243215 or email

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