Santa’s Sleigh Raises an Amazing £5,300

Santa’s sleigh which delighted children on his eight night route around the streets of Henley has raised an amazing £5377 this year.

Organised by Henley Lions, the money donated will go to local charities to support local people.

Pam Phillips has organised the initiative for a number of years. Unfortunately this year she wasn’t able to go out herself as she was recovering from a hip operation but planned all the routes and volunteers.  She said, “I would like to thank the people of Henley for opening their front doors despite the cold weather, and emptying their pockets and piggy banks into the Lions red collecting buckets.

“I can assure everyone that Henley Lions will spend this money wisely for the benefit of Henley and its residents. Every year we sponsor the Bishopswood School Christmas party as well as the Mencap and Meteor Club Christmas celebrations. During the year we work closely with Citizens Advice and Nomad to help residents in need.”

Lorraine Green Deputy Headteacher at Bishopswood School said, “Thank you so much for our Christmas party this year, to say all the children enjoyed it is an understatement!  From start to finish the afternoon worked beautifully. I was amazed to see how well Daniel engaged with our pupils. He had many of the pupils at the front joining in with him and those that weren’t at the front could still join in from their seats. Even our older pupils were smiling, laughing, and joining in. I would recommend him for SEND pupils. I can’t praise the Phyllis Court Club team enough, they responded so well to our requests. They calmly and effectively supported us throughout the afternoon, no job was to big or small.”

Pam added, “I would also like to say a special Thank You to the 49 helpers who gave up their time to walk the streets of Henley during the coldest winter weather we have had for a very long time. We could not do this without your help. This year we welcomed a new driver and six new Elves who tell me they really enjoyed being part of Santa’s little band.”

Herald Editor Michaela Clarke was a volunteer on 2 nights this year.  Michaela said, “I started volunteering about 3 years ago and I love to see the children’s faces light up when they see Santa.  My children grew up on seeing Santa on his sleigh each year.  It was one of their highlights.”