Stoke City's man in red and white Marc Muniesa encourages Santas to take part in 5k dash for charity

Hundreds of 'Santas' will be helping to raise money for a deprived children this Christmas – by running 5k through a city centre park.

The Alice Charity is organising the race at Hanley Park as part of it festive appeal to ensure every youngster in North Staffordshire has a bed to sleep on.

And they were joined by another famous man in red and white – Stoke City star Marc Muniesa – for today's launch at Newcastle-based sheet metal contractor KMF Ltd.

The 24-year-old defender said: "It's good to support this charity. It's always this kind of thing the club gets involved in. We try to support people around Stoke-on-Trent. It's important for Stoke City to try to help all these people who need it."

The Alice Charity, which supports low-income families in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle, has a waiting list of 80 children who need a bed. They are currently having to co-sleep, sleep on sofas, or in worst case scenarios, even on the floor.

The Santa Dash for the Beds for Kids campaign will take place on December 11. It costs £20 to enter and all the proceeds will go to buying beds.

The event is being sponsored by KMF, which has supported the Alice Charity for a number of years.

Fund-raising manager Sam Warrilow, aged 38, said: "KMF is helping us with the costs of running the event and we are working in association with Friends of Hanley Park.

"We're inviting members of the public to come along and do the 5k run. The idea is to clear the waiting list and KMF is putting forward some of their apprentices and staff to do the run. Our target is to raise £10,000."

KMF marketing and PR manager Nadine Rowley said: "We have had a relationship with the Alice Charity for a while. We realised how much of a good cause it is and this is a perfect event for us to get involved in

"We've got around 30 people taking part. It's a great event for us to support."

After completing the run, the Santas will be greeted by a shower of snow. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed Santa and children's fancy dress.

There will also be a Santa's grotto, hot food stalls, and a Santa's story time.

Each adult receives a free Santa suit and the run is free for children under 14.


Sophie Attwood