Santa Bus goes online to continue fundraising for local charities & community groups  

3 weeks ago Sun 8th Nov 2020

Our Santa Bus will raise money for 12 local charities and community groups this Christmas, encouraging online donations through a Go Fund Me page and selling limited edition Santa Bus festive face coverings. 

Our 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 bus is a familiar sight in the run up to Christmas, decked out with fairy lights and playing Christmas music with Santa and his elves on the top deck.  

Coronavirus has moved Santa Bus operations online this year, explains our Managing Director Martin Harris.  

“We didn’t want local organisations to miss out this year because of the virus, especially when so many of them have had to cancel their usual fundraising events and are really feeling the pinch.  

“The Santa Bus is a long tradition and while the wheels on the Santa Bus may not be turning in 2020, that doesn't mean the Christmas spirit and the fundraising needs to come to a complete stop. 

“All of the proceeds from the Go Fund Me page will be split evenly and go straight to local community groups and charities. A Santa Bus festive face covering makes a great practical Christmas stocking filler and all of the profits go to support local groups. We will also spread a bit of Christmas cheer with lots of fun online children’s activities and competitions."

Martin said the decision to move the Santa Bus online was taken with a heavy heart. 

“We know it will disappoint a lot of people but the Santa Bus draws large crowds every year and our collectors go door to door fundraising for charity. This is too much of a risk during the Coronavirus.  

“We tried really hard to find a safe way to take the Santa Bus out and we spent many hours discussing how we could do this with our colleagues and the council. In the end, we all felt it was best to go online, especially with the second national lockdown and the number of cases rising.” 

It is a decision Santa himself agrees with.  

"I'm 1749 years’ old and I’m taking things a bit easier during the Coronavirus so I’m ready to go out with my reindeer on Christmas Eve delivering presents. In the meantime, all my wonderful helpers at Brighton & Hove and Metrobus will help keep the magic going and give a boost to local charities and community groups, who all do such vital work.” 

The 12 chosen local organisations will be announced next week, along with more details of the fundraising campaign and Christmas online competitions and activities at www.buses.co.uk