Brighton & Hove Buses’ Santa Bus will once again visit over 200 streets in Brighton & Hove in the run-up to Christmas, spreading festive joy and cheer and raising money for 12 local charities.
This year, to keep the Santa Bus rolling, the bus company has decided to do things a bit differently. Instead of door-to-door bucket collections, donations will be via local businesses or online.
Brighton & Hove Buses Managing Director Martin Harris appealed to local businesses across the city to become Santa Bus collection points.
“It’s a welcome return for the Santa Bus this year and I hope it brings some much needed Christmas light and cheer to everyone in the city,” said Martin. “Most importantly, it raises money for some of the hard-working community groups that have been a lifeline for people over the past 18 months.
“Preparing for Santa Bus season is always exciting and brings together colleagues from every department, decorating and driving the bus and dressing up as elves. We owe a huge thank you to our customers and local communities. The Santa Bus is only possible with their help; even more so this year as businesses and organisations take part by becoming collection points.”
It’s quick and easy to become a Santa Bus collection point. To find out more, including a list of routes the Santa Bus covers, visit: www.buses.co.uk/SantaBus.
Every participating organisation will receive a collection bucket and poster and appear on the bus company’s Santa Bus map on the website.
This year’s chosen charities are: Albion in the Community, BHT Sussex, Brighton Sussex University Hospitals Charity, Chestnut Tree House, East Sussex Credit Union Foundation, Impact Initiatives, Martlets, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Racial Harassment Forum, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Switchboard and Together Co.
Anna and Yogesh Kotecha, who have run Brighton’s Cookes Newsagent for the past 30 years, have already volunteered to help collect donations.
“Every Christmas the Santa Bus drives right past my shop and Santa always gives us a wave as he goes by,” said Anna. “It’s so exciting to be the first Santa Bus collection point and I am really looking forward to welcoming everyone into my store.”
Brighton & Hove Buses’ open-topped Santa Bus covers scores of suburbs from Bevendean to Woodingdean in the run-up to Christmas. The bus is decorated with 10,000 lights and plays Christmas music while Santa waves from the top deck.
The Santa Bus has raised over £300,000 for local charities and organisations since it began in 2004.