Leicester cycling Santas raise over £1,500 for Rainbows

A family has been taking the festive spirit to children by cycling around Leicestershire dressed as Christmas characters.

The family and their friends have completed four rides, which finished last weekend. They cycled around Ratby, Enderby, Groby, Braunstone Town, Blaby and Whetstone.

They have raised over £1,500 for our charity.

Neil Hamilton was dressed as Rudolph; Ryan Hamilton was an elf; Claire Valentine was Vixen; Dan Valentine was the Grinch and John Mawby was Santa.

Neil said: “This began as an idea during lockdown so children could see Santa. If we cycled around, it was Covid safe. We didn’t stop to chat but it meant children got that opportunity to see us and wave.

“During that first year in 2020, we met a little boy fighting cancer. We happened to start outside his house. Last year we did the ride to raise money for his charity and particular cancer and as we finished the rides, he coincidentally got to ring the bell to end his treatment.

“This year we decided upon Rainbows as we wanted to support a local children’s charity. Our cousin’s daughter did come to Rainbows at birth, but is now a thriving little girl. So we are well aware of all the great ways that Rainbows support babies, children and young people with life threatening and life limiting conditions.

“Our group was initially made up of four family members but now we also have elves Andy, Kully and Sarah; and Glyn, who is Prancer. And lots of other people who support us.

Jenny Ball, Rainbows Community Fundraiser, added: “We would like to thank the team of cycling festive characters for everything they have done. Not only have they raised an incredible amount for our charity, they have put smiles on the faces of so many children who have been able to wave to them on their way past.”

The group doesn’t collect cash and relies on donations. To support them and us, visit www.JustGiving.com/fundraising/santaandfriends2022