'Santa trains' bring festive cheer and raise money for charity
Father Christmas swapped his sleigh for an Abellio Greater Anglia train on Sunday 6th December to deliver festive fun and gifts to children on the Crouch Valley line (between Southminster and Wickford), as well as raising money for the Little Havens Children’s Hospice.
This is the twelfth year that Santa has chosen to travel on the Crouch Valley line, leaving his sleigh behind, giving Rudolph a well-earned rest and opting for the convenience of the train.
Organised by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership in partnership with Abellio Greater Anglia, two Santa trains operated at 11.06 and 13.06.
There was lots of festive fun on board including carol singing, a Christmas wish tree and a name the fairy competition. Over 150 children attended and all received a gift from Santa and an activity pack.
The adults didn’t miss out either, a Christmas themed quiz, raffle and tea, coffee and mince pies were available to enjoy.
During the event, over £600 was raised for Little Havens Children’s Hospice through a raffle and a refreshment and tombola stall run by Little Havens at Wickford rail station.
Lynda Stone, Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership Officer said: “The Santa trains were a sell-out success again this year. We had lots of fun and the children really enjoyed themselves. We were delighted to raise over £600 for a very worthy cause and would like to thank everyone for their generosity.”