Thousands of Santas and Rudolphs set to race on Weston-super-Mare’s beach

Around 2,400 people dressed in festive fancy dress are due to hit the beach in Weston-super-Mare this Sunday 6 December, 2015 for the annual Christmas Cracker event, organised by Weston Athletic Club.

The 28th annual Christmas Cracker 10k has some 2,250 adult entrants to the race and a further 140 runners entering the mini cracker 2k event, new this year for children aged seven to 15 years old.

The Mini Cracker event gets under way at 10am on the beach by the Grand Pier, which is also the start of the Cracker 10k race at 11am.

Malcolm Gammon, race director of Weston Athletic Club, said: “The Cracker really is a fantastic event in our club’s race calendar and this year’s event is set to be another great spectacle, especially with the Mini Cracker that we’ve introduced.

“Many of the runners have been building up to this event, including a group of 60 individuals who joined our beginners group, the ‘Rudolphs in Training’ in September. Many of them will be running their first ever race on Sunday, dressed as yes, you guessed it, Rudolphs!

“I would like to urge as many people as possible to come out and support all of the tinsel-clad and fun runners this weekend by cheering them on during their race, all in support of Weston Hospicecare. The public support for everyone taking part is always wonderful and hugely appreciated.”

This year, Weston Athletic Club will be presenting a cheque for £5,000 raised from race funds to Weston Hospicecare before the main prize giving at 12.45pm on race day, Sunday 6 December, at Weston College, Knightstone Campus. A further cheque for at least £2,000 is being handed over by the Rudolphs in Training members at the front of The Grand Pier at 10.30am.

Kelsey Dehaney, event fundraiser at Weston Hospicecare said: “On behalf of everyone at Weston Hospicecare, I would like to thank Weston Athletic Club for the wonderful support, yet again, we have been overwhelmed by the pledges made to our charity. There is still time to donate so please, if anyone is inspired by all of the children and adults running in this year’s Cracker 2k and 10k races, you can pledge your support at:

“As well as gratefully receiving the cheques on the day, I’ll certainly look forward to cheering everyone on during the races!”

Spectators will be able to see the runners as they take on two laps of the main part of the beach at Weston-super-Mare during the race, with the start and finish on the beach by The Grand Pier. A requirement of all entrants of the Christmas Cracker is that at least one piece of tinsel must be worn as a minimum, although as in previous years, the crowds can expect Santas, Rudolphs, snowmen, penguins and many more interesting costumes hurtling along the seafront on Sunday.

For more information about the Cracker races, including a map for spectators and how to pledge sponsorship, visit

Christmas Jumper Day is coming!

On Wednesday 9th December, wear a Christmas jumper and donate £1 to Weston’s local Hospice.

Weston Hospicecare challenges you to wear your silliest Christmas jumper with pride on the 9th – to work, to college, or round the supermarket – to raise money for a great cause this Christmas.

Put on your beautiful light-up Santa jumper, or the one your gran hand-knitted you, and then text WHC01 £1 to 70070 to instantly donate £1 to the Hospice. Or you can make your donation at any Weston Hospicecare charity shop.

“Christmas Jumper Day is going to be a lot of fun,” says Hospice Fundraiser Rachel Mansfield, “and it’s a great, simple way to support the Hospice this Christmas. This can be a difficult time of year for the families we care for, and every £1 donation will be appreciated, along with the laughs we’ll all get from seeing people’s Christmas jumpers!

“We would love lots of local businesses and workplaces to get involved, so do let your boss know about it. And when you take part, please send us your photos! Email us, show them off on Facebook, or tweet them using #WHCxmasjumper.”

To find out more about Christmas Jumper Day or fundraising for the Hospice, please contact Rachel on or .

Everything’s £1 at the Aller Parade Hospice shop

Weston Hospicecare has turned its Aller Parade charity shop in Weston-super-Mare into a £1 shop, offering locals a last chance to buy its donated items for an amazing bargain price.

Linda Kelly, the charity’s Head of Retail, says: “The response has been fantastic – despite everything being £1 or less, our income is significantly higher, meaning we can donate more funds back to the Hospice.

“We decided to convert the Aller Parade shop into a £1 shop following the success of our other £1 shops in the centre of Weston and Clevedon. It’s a way to make our fundraising more efficient. We get great items donated that don’t always sell in the stores they’re donated to. Previously, if they didn’t sell after a few weeks, we were faced with the very difficult decision to recycle or dispose of them, which is the last thing we want to do when people have generously chosen to donate their items to raise money for the Hospice.

“Our £1 shops now act as a last stop for these items instead, allowing people to buy them at highly discounted prices, saving them from recycling, raising funds, and giving local people a great bargain!”

The shop has had a facelift, with new signage and interiors. Since the shop opened as a £1 store, sales have more than doubled, which is good news for the local Hospice.

This is the latest in a line of changes for the charity’s shops which aim to improve efficiency and maximise the profit from the community’s donations.

Weston Hospicecare provides free, expert end-of-life care to 1 in 100 local people, and raises 80% of its running costs through its charity shops, fundraising activities and the generosity of local people and businesses.

Find out more about the Hospice’s shops at or call