11 January 2021

Seven-year-old Brownie, Amelie Chandler, was among 272 individual runners and walkers who supported YMCA East Surrey’s inaugural Virtual Santa Run during the month of December.

“I did the YMCA Virtual Santa Run as part of my Brownie Charity Badge,” says Amelie. “I chose YMCA East Surrey because it is a very good charity that helps other people and makes a difference.”

“I love doing the YMCA runs and enjoy collecting the medals and the sporty t-shirts. When I did the Father Christmas run, I ran around Priory Park saying ‘Ho, ho, ho – Merry Christmas, everybody!’ so I could embarrass my Daddy.”

Santa hats, beards and medals were sent out in the post to those who signed up to run or walk either one or three miles any time during the month of December, with photographs, routes and times being shared by many on social media.

“We may have been unable to hold the YMCA Santa Run in Reigate as usual,” says YMCA East Surrey’s Chief Executive, Ian Burks, “but our challengers are a loyal and determined crowd and we knew that they would be keen to get out and take part in any way they could to keep the festive spirit alive!”

So far, more than £3,280 has been raised through sponsorship from the event.

Ian Burks, says:

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who chose to walk or run. This year, more than ever, any money raised or donated will go a long way to help the lives of local people who are really struggling. With the new restrictions, more and more people will be battling with their physical and emotional health as well as their financial worries.”

“To combat this, here at the YMCA, we have a series of activities and programmes to help local children, young people and adults get through this crisis and we would urge anyone who needs this support to get in touch.”