Santas needed for the gift of life for heart charity


HUNDREDS of Santas are heading to Haywards Heath in a good cause to help people who live with heart conditions.

And free suits are on offer as public-spirited people set out to paint the town red.

The family-friendly swarm of Santas will descend on the town for the Santa In The Park on December 9 to help raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

It will be too early for them to drop down chimneys and they will instead be keeping their feet firmly on the ground in Victoria Park by either running or walking for the charity.

People of all ages can choose between jogging three miles or walking a mile but the organisers say whether people run or walk they are doing it in style in what they call a “fabulous” free Santa Suit.

The British Heart Foundation and Freedom Leisure are joining together to organise the event.

The Mayor of Haywards Heath, John Sabin, will be getting the Santas off to a flying start and he will be joining in the fun run too at 9.45am.

There is also the opportunity for people not so keen on running to play a part in the day and take a stroll to help the charity.

Walkers get off at more leisurely pace at 10.45am.

Volunteer broadcasters from Mid Down Hospital Radio, based at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, will provide music and many local businesses, shops and schools will be entering teams.

Last year Santa in the Park raised many thousands of pounds of much-needed funds for the BHF, which is the UK’s biggest funder of research into heart conditions.

All budding Santas must register before the event online at

Organisers say this event caters for all the family including grandparents, parents and children of all ages.

There will be prizes offered for the best-dressed Santa, and some fancy dress prizes donated by Freedom Leisure.

The Santa Fun Run registration begins at 9.45am, with the Santa warm up at 10.15 before a run start time of 10.30.

Santa Fun Walk registration begins at 10.45, warm up 11am. Start time 11.15.

A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation said: “This is the third year for this event and the British Heart Foundation hopes to have 300 Santas taking part and to raise a significant and much-needed amount of money.”