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Santa Fun Run to launch with a livestream from Santa's Grotto this year

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

This year’s Santa Fun Run for Alzheimer’s Dementia Support is going ahead – with a twist.

Participants this year will join a virtual festive warm up, then run in their own area, winning prizes for most festive location.

Alzheimer’s Dementia Support (ADS) provides support for people living with dementia and their family and carers in Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough and surrounding locations.

Ordinarily Santa Fun Runners would assemble to jog around Dorney Lake in festive garb. This year, the charity has opted for a remote version and pulled out the stops to make it festive.

Jonny Walker, of the Braywick Leisure Centre, will be hosting a live Christmas show on November 29 from Santa’s Grotto.

The event, produced by Lisa Hunter from Maidenhead Festival, will feature Santa reading out personal messages sent in advance.

The virtual event will be two hours long from 10am to midday, hosted on Facebook live and YouTube.

It will feature performances from local choirs, live announcements of competition and raffle winners, followed by a warm-up to prepare runners before they head out to run in their local area.

Holly Clarke, of ADS, said the idea was to create the ‘feel’ of a physical event.

“The live warm-up will let people interact as much as possible before they go off on their run,” she said.

“It’s been such a rubbish year for everyone.

“This event will bring some fun back into everyone’s life.”

Following the event, there will be a community choice award, using Facebook votes, for the most creative venue (such as a Christmas decorated garden or park) and the best-dressed Santa.

ADS is also keen to get the schools involved. They are offering an event pack and £500 prize to the school that gets the most pupils to sign up for a sponsored run.

“It’s an opportunity to have some festive fun, win some money for the school and also raise sponsorship money for a charity,” said Holly.

Each school will be free to choose the best location and the date of its run, and organise it however the school wishes.

The ADS event pack will include a warm-up video and customisable flyers and posters to publicise the event around the school.

To register for the Santa Fun Run visit

Schools wishing to join up should instead email

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