FLEET-footed Father Christmases will be hitting the streets of Harrow for a charity Santa Dash next Sunday.

Every participant will be dressed in the familiar red robes, white trim, hat and flowing beard, and young and old alike will be tackling the 3 1/2 mile loop, starting and finishing at Claremont High School in Claremont Avenue, Kenton, at whatever pace they can.

Proceeds will go to St Luke's Hospice in Kenton Grange, Kenton, as part of its 25th anniversary £250,000 fundraising appeal.

Part-time pharmacy shop assistant Nadereh Shanassi said: "I am taking part in the Santa Dash to support and raise money for an organisation which in my opinion is the most beneficial and caring one in the UK.

"I read about St Luke's and what they did for the community in one of the local papers soon after we moved to live in the UK from Iran some 26 years ago."

"I am very much excited about taking part as three of my grandchildren will dash with me. I did it with one of them last year but I had to

push his pushchair."

The of Stanmore resident said: "I always read or heard about how St Luke's support the people who need help and care in their most difficult last days of their lives.

"However, two years ago when two of my close friends had cancer and each one of them and their family got help and support from St Luke's in different ways, it was then that I truly and sincerely felt it in my heart that St Luke’s is the one who needs to get more support and help from us people so it can stand in place to carry on supporting us people when we need them most."

Saloni Shah, an 11-year-old student at Claremont High School, is taking part with two of her friends.

She said: "I decided to do this because I wanted to help a charity and raise money for the people that need it.

"The first time I heard about the walk and St Luke’s was at school and that’s when I wanted to do it. I have been going to neighbours and family to raise money and have £80 so far.

"I’m excited about taking part. I’ve never done anything like this before and wearing a Santa suit will be fun!’

Every Father Christmas will be greeted at the finish with a hot drink and mince pie while the school grounds will play host to stalls, refreshments and face painting.

The Observer is supporting the hospice's anniversary appeal by urging readers to donate to the collective tune of £25,000 - or a tenth of the overall total.


* prior booking is not required and you can register on the day

* entry is £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s

* discounts available for teams of eight, schoolchildren and families

* registration fee includes a Santa suit

* for more information or to book a place visit www.stlukes-hospice.org/santadash or call 020 8382 8096