On Sunday, 10 December, the community gathered for a day of festive fun in aid of the Hospice. The charity’s annual Santa Dash brought almost 500 sprinting Santas together for a fun run through Surrey’s leafy Nonsuch Park. 

We also debuted our very first Christmas Market inside the historic Nonsuch Mansion, with both events raising nearly £30,000!

Runners dressed in santa suits set off at 10am as part of the much-loved fundraising event, completing routes of either 5km or 1.2km. The winner of this year’s Santa Dash, Trevor Lovelock, was thrilled to beat his second-place record from last year. Trevor crossed the 5km finish line in 19 minutes and 57 seconds.

Trevor said:

“It’s great to be back at Nonsuch Park for St Raphael’s. As an avid runner, it’s a great feeling to take part in this fun run for such a worthy cause.”

Elena Nicola signed up for her first Santa Dash this year and crossed the finish line in 23 minutes.

Elena shared: 

“The atmosphere throughout the day was just brilliant, you could really feel the community spirit. I decided to open a JustGiving page ahead of the race and am thrilled to have raised over £400 for St Raphael’s and counting, simply by asking friends and family to support.”

Inside the market, over 1000 visitors enjoyed hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies, while shopping from a variety of stalls set up by local businesses. 50 children also enjoyed visiting Santa Claus inside his magical mansion Grotto.

This year’s Santa Dash and Christmas Market in the Mansion were sponsored by Smith & Byford. St Raphael’s Director of Fundraising & Communications, Kate Billingham Wilson, said: “We are excited to have welcomed a record-breaking number of Santas this year, with close to 500 runners taking part for our charity. The support has been incredible.”

Kate adds: “Introducing our first Christmas Market inside Nonsuch Mansion this year, alongside our Santa Dash, has been a great opportunity for us to bring our community together this festive season. All funds raised help us to continue providing free Hospice care and support to the people Merton and Sutton, when they need us most. This would not be possible without the amazing support of our community, staff and volunteers.”

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