Brighton & Hove and Metrobus has announced the 12 community groups and local charities it will fundraise for this Christmas with its online Santa Bus and GoFundMe.
The local groups and charities are: Albion in the Community, Brighton Black History Group, Carers Support West Sussex, Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice, Crawley Forget-me-not Club, LGBT Switchboard, Fareshare, Giving Back Crawley, Martlets Hospice, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare and St Catherine’s Hospice.
The bus company will fundraise using a GoFundMe page, with all profits going to community groups, and by selling limited edition Santa Bus festive face coverings.
The bus company has also launched its Santa Bus pages, filled with activities for children including Christmas 'just for fun' games, colouring in, jokes and Santa facts. There is also a downloadable letter to Santa for those all-important children’s Christmas wishes.
The Santa Bus has raised more than £300,000 for local charities over the 16 years it has been running, mostly through street collections, as it travels around the city over 20 nights.
In Brighton the Santa Bus is a long running annual tradition. The bus company and Brighton City council took the difficult decision to move the popular Santa Bus online this year due to the Coronavirus after a thorough risk assessment. The Santa Bus follows set routes in Brighton and attracts crowds as it passes by, which the company and the council decided was too much of a risk to take during the pandemic. Other public events in Brighton have already been cancelled.
Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ Managing Director Martin Harris said: “Even though our Santa Bus isn’t going on the road this year we still want everyone to get into the spirit of things and help us to raise money for these charities that support so many people all year round.
“The Santa Bus pages also have lots of exciting activities to keep children entertained. Don’t worry if you can’t donate, take part in our Christmas activities and share our Santa Bus pages with other people.”
You can buy your Santa Bus face covering here. Face coverings cost £5 and all proceeds will be split equally between the 12 community groups.