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Kirkham man pulls Santa’s sleigh from Edinburgh raising money for six charities

Posted on - 23rd December, 2023 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Christmas, Fylde News, Kirkham, People, Photos, Preston City Centre, Preston Locations, Preston News, Proud Preston, Transport
Bill Hodgson pulling Santa and his sleigh.
Bill Hodgson pulling Santa and his sleigh. Pic: Andy Johnston

A man from Kirkham has pulled Santa’s 1/4 tonne sleigh, with Santa inside, from Edinburgh to Kirkham in just five days.

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Bill Hodgson, decided to take on this year’s ‘Santa’s Slog’ to raise money for local charities including Cash For Kids, Donna’s Dream House in Blackpool, Space Centre, Streetwise Youth Centre Warton, Vetrans’ Foundation and Edinburgh Children’s Hospital.

This is the fourth year Bill has taken part in a fundraiser, but with each year comes a bigger challenge. His first Santa’s Slog challenge was in December 2020, where Bill pulled Santa in his sleigh from Fleetwood to Kirkham in under eight hours.

Read more: Preston charity raises over £500 for the poor in Rwanda.

However, this year Bill set off from Loanhead in Edinburgh on December 5, where he pulled Santa in his sleigh before stopping in a hotel after an average of 40 miles a day. 

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He eventually arrived at Euston Hotel in Fleetwood, after battling through snow, rain and fog. From there, Bill continued the last stretch of the challenge to Kirkham in the rain, dressed up as Batman and Robin, and supported by those who had donated.

Bill arrived at The Swan Hotel on December 9, where he was greeted by a DJ, live music and stalls. 

Bill pulling Santa through Blackpool. Pic: Andy Johnston

Read more: Preston and South Ribble Christmas and New Year bin collection dates confirmed

Bill said: “Year by year this challenge has just grown and grown, we started in lockdown.

“When you see the kids smile and we see how much we have raised, I think that’s what it is all about.

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“It warms my heart to see how much of an impact it makes.”

The finale saw the lighting of the Kirkham Christmas Memorial Tree where those who have lost a loved one are encouraged to hang a hand-written bauble with a message.

Bill said: “I believe Christmas is a very joyful time, but for some, it can be sad and lonely as you realise how many empty seats there are at the table.

“We created the memorial tree so people’s spirits could live on.”

Bill also mentioned the huge support network he had during the challenge, he said he would not have been able to complete it without them. He wanted to give a special thanks to the team at Kirkham who sorted out the stalls and the stage for the finale.

Santa’s Slog 2023. Pic: Andy Johnston

Bill and his team have big plans for next year’s Santa’s Slog.

He said:  “Next year’s challenge will be even harder, I can’t say too much but all I will say is it will be international.”

Donations for the charities are still being accepted until the second week in January when the team will announce how much they raised in total. You can donate via the GoFundMe.

Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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