Santa Bus raises a huge £37,620 for local charities!

1 month ago Wed 10th Jan 2024

Santa and his many helpers standing by the lit up Santa Bus

In the build up to Christmas, Santa Claus travelled all the way from the North Pole and boarded his very own Brighton & Hove Santa Bus to spread festive joy and cheer to everyone across Brighton & Hove and beyond.

This year was the 20th anniversary and to help celebrate 20 years of Christmas giving, the Santa Bus travelled 20 routes, over 20 nights to raise money for 20 local charities. Santa was joined by his elves, teams of festive volunteers and some very lucky competition winners while thousands of people who lined the routes and walked alongside as the bus travelled across the city with Santa waving from the top deck.

Due to the incredible generosity of local people a whopping £37,620.05 has been raised through nightly bucket collections, local business collection points, and an online Go Fund Me page. The overall raised in the last 20 years now totals over £417,500 which has all gone on to support local charities.

All money raised this year will be split evenly among the 20 Santa Bus charities, which include: Martlets, Chestnut Tree House, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Switchboard, Sussex Homeless Support, Impact Initiatives, Grace Eyre, Choir With No Name, Take Shelter, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Racial Harassment Forum, The Hummingbird Project, Fareshare Sussex, ABC Fund, Trust for Developing Communities, Chomp, Rise, Team Domenica, Rainbow Fund and Moulsecoomb Forest Garden.

Every evening 20-30 volunteers helped support the Santa Bus, which included colleagues from every department at Brighton & Hove Buses, local businesses, charities, and local Councillors. We are pleased to announce that the overall volunteer hours donated equated to 1,876 hours (roles included driving the bus, bucket collecting, safety support, and Santa's onboard helpers).

Ed Wills, Managing Director of Metrobus and Brighton & Hove Buses, said: “What an incredible amount of money raised, especially during the present economic climate, and an overwhelming display of generosity from everyone who has supported and donated to Santa Bus charities. Over the last 20 years, the Santa Bus has become one of the city's most popular and iconic annual events, so we are delighted to have again hosted Santa Claus and his elves on board one of our local buses. A huge thank you everyone who helps makes this happen including the teams of nightly volunteers and everybody who comes out to donate and to give Santa and his helpers a festive wave."

Anne Bickmore, Chair of the ABC Fund and one of the Santa Bus volunteers, added: “The ABC Fund provides trips and treats for local children and families who are facing adversity. This includes Pantomime visits, food hampers, books, arts and crafts and days out to theme parks. These trips and treats give the children a chance to make memories which will last a long time after the event. We want to say a huge thank you to Brighton & Hove Buses who operate the Santa Bus as all the money raised will help towards putting even more smiles on the face of many young people."

We'll see you at the end of the year where we'll get to do it all over again... ho ho ho!