LAST Saturday more than 200 Santas could be seen gathering in Tavistock, ready for a festive fun run for local children’s charity CHICKS.

A total of 253 adults and children dressed as Santa Claus took part in the 1.5 mile run which looped around the river, finishing in The Meadows – where they were greeted with a mince pie. The event raised an impressive total of £3,219.

Event organiser, Sarah Roberts, said: ‘It was a brilliantly festive day and I was really delighted to see everyone brave the cold to come and run today. The atmosphere in Tavistock was amazing, there were Santas everywhere!

‘As a charity, CHICKS receives no government funding and relies on donations, so events like this are a really great way of raising funds and engaging with the local community.’

CHICKS provides free respite breaks for disadvantaged children aged between eight and 15 from all across the UK, including hundreds from Devon. The children come from a variety of backgrounds: they might be living in poverty; be young carers; be victims of abuse or bullying or have lost a parent.

CHICKS enables children to have fun, make new friends and relax, away from the burdens and responsibilities they face at home.

The event was supported by the Tavistock Rotary Club, a local accountancy firm and Royal Marines from 42 Commando, who led a warm up at the start of the fun run.

‘This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support we received, so I’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped out on the day — and of course to our Santas who sprinted, jogged and even pushed prams around the route, all with so much enthusiasm,’ said Sarah.