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Cannock-based charity Newlife Foundation for Disabled Children is appealing for volunteers to help with its Santa Dash on Saturday 14 December.

‘Santa’s helpers’ are needed to assist with registering participants – who will include Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley – marshalling the event and helping with post-Dash refreshments.

MP Aidan Burley is one of dozens of entrants signed up to the annual festive fundraising challenge, to raise money to support local disabled and terminally ill children.

Runners, joggers and walkers – dressed in Santa suits provided by Newlife Foundation – will tackle a one-mile course around Cannock town centre.

First off the starting block to sign up was Bank Bar & Lounge owner Alastair Payne, who is a dedicated Newlife supporter. Alastair said: “This is a fantastic community event which gives people from all walks of life and from all around the Cannock area an opportunity to get together for a common goal. Newlife Foundation does so much to help disabled and terminally ill children in the county, and this annual Santa Dash is what the true meaning of Christmas is all about – helping others.”

Registration remains open until December 6 and entrants can sign up  online at Entry is £5 per adult and includes a Santa suit; under 16s go free. Everyone is asked to raise a minimum of £30 sponsorship.

For those wanting to volunteer to help at the Santa Dash please contact Daria on 0800 988 4640 or email

Newlife Fundraising Manager Nora Smith said: “We want to make the Newlife Santa Dash bigger and better than last year. And if participating in the Dash isn’t for you, but you would still like to support local disabled children, volunteering to help out with the running of the event might appeal.”

How did Newlife spend last year’s Santa Dash sponsorship?

The 2012 event raised £2,627, which helped fund a disability buggy for five-year-old Penkridge boy Alfie Tunas-Bana.

Alfie has Cerebral Palsy and a congenital birth defect which puts pressure on his spinal cord; he has limited mobility and behavioural problems. Dad Steve said: “Alfie was in a standard buggy but he is tall for his age and he was able to tip it over. We were getting really worried because the congenital defect, at the back of his head, means he has a high chance of breaking his neck if he falls.

“We needed a specialist buggy but there was no way we could afford one ourselves so we turned to Newlife Foundation for help.”

Steve added: “The buggy Newlife provided is fantastic. It has a wide wheelbase so Alfie can’t turn it over and it is rugged so it will cope with most surfaces. It also has a special harness so Alfie can’t get out and put himself in danger and it has additional padding to support his head and neck.

“It is very versatile and high enough to double up as a seat when we are out, so Alfie can sit at the table with us to eat.

“We try to get Alfie out and about as much as possible, and now, thanks to this buggy, we can.” Pictured: Fundraising Manager Nora Smith (left) Bank Bar and Lounge owner Alastair Payne (left centre), MP Aidan Burley (right, centre) and Chase Leisure Centre representative Lissy Milligan. 

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