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Watch The Ashford Lions Magical Santa Sleigh

The Ashford Lions Club completed their 9th outing in Ashford on the Santa Sleigh last night.

The club began their journey around the Godington Park estate at 5:30pm and spread festive cheer whilst raising money for charities.

The sleigh started its route along Loudon Way and was immediately greeted by a crowd of families and children eager to meet Father Christmas.

Santa said: “I want to bring as much joy and happiness into every child I meet and to rekindle the Spirit of truth and kindness and the joy of giving good cheer to everyone.”

This is the third year the Ashford Lions have done the Santa Sleigh and each year it has grown significantly. Phillip Watson designed and built the float which visits a number of roads across Ashford throughout December. All together they will have visited 14 estates this year and will host 1 static night at Singleton Barn. The first year it began, it only ran for 5 nights.

Last year they raised £5300 and already this year they have banked, £2600. However, Eric MacRae, Secondary at Ashford Lion’s club said: “Money is only 1 side of it.”

He explained this touching moment about why he loves getting involved:

Helping the Ashford Lion’s club were people from youth club, Sk8side, based in Tannery Lane, Ashford. The club runs for children aged between 8-19 and is on Tuesdays-Saturdays. Sk8side got involved last year with the Santa Sleigh and have helped out 4 times this year.

Rhys Foster, 14 regularly attends Sk8side and said: “We’re raising money for Sk8side and Children’s Hospice. We’re following Santa’s Sleigh, giving out presents and collecting money.”

Joining the youth club to raise money was elf, Amber Powling a travel advisor. She said: “It’s good to experience people really. So often life gets in the way and it’s about the community coming together to raise money for people in the community.”

Elf Amber Powling & Santa

One of the most moving moments of this year’s sleigh ride was when it stopped for a disabled child. The sleigh was able to stop especially for Daniel, 13 from Wyvern School who was desperate to meet Santa. His mum said it was: “an overwhelming moment.”

Santa and Daniel

The club spent over 2 hours of their evening raising money for charity and stopping to take pictures.

Local resident Clair Heal, 44 said: “I think it’s lovely, it’s a lovely thing to do. My children are thrilled to see them every year it’s really nice and it’s a good way to raise money for charity.”

The Lions will next be out on Sunday in Highfield and Twelve aches. The Santa Sleigh will run until 21, December.

You can track Santa on his routes HERE.

The Ashford Lions Club was originally set up in 1968 but folded in the 80s. In 2014, it was reformed and it currently has 19 members. Internationally the Lions are in their centenary year. Lions are ordinary people who volunteer and support worthy causes across the British Isles. Globally, they have volunteers in more places than any other service club organisation.