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Local MP Aidan Burley and Paralympian Sinclair Thomas got competitors under starter’s orders for the Newlife Santa Dash around Cannock on Saturday (15 December).

Sixty-one entrants dressed in Santa suits tackled the one-mile course from Chase Leisure Centre to the Bank Bar & Lounge on Wolverhampton Road. Each participant was asked to raise a minimum of £30 to help support disabled and terminally ill children in Staffordshire.

Sinclair Thomas, who is currently head coach of the TCAT Shropshire Warriors wheelchair basketball team, was joined by Cannock MP Aidan Burley in officiating at the start and finishing lines.

Newlife Fundraising Manager Nora Smith said: “Every year this event gets bigger and better. It’s a great opportunity for individuals as well as families, groups of work colleagues, students and even health and leisure club members to get together for a bit of festive fun. It’s a real party atmosphere!”

She added: “All the money we receive through the Santa Dash will help children in Staffordshire. There has been a huge increase in demand for Newlife’s services – for instance, in October applications for equipment were up 95 per cent on the same month last year. With cutbacks to budgets across all statutory services, it would seem that it is our most vulnerable children who are losing out. Newlife is determined to help as many disabled and terminally ill children – and their families – as possible, and is increasingly calling on the support of volunteer fundraisers and donors to enable us to meet the growing need.”

Pictured: MP Aidan Burley back (left) and Paralympian Sinclair Thomas (front right) get together with Newlife CEO Sheila Brown OBE (back right) and some Santa Dash supporters at the Bank Bar & Lounge in Cannock following the third annual Newlife Santa Dash.

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