IPSWICH: A town charity is urging town residents to help spread a little Christmas spirit by stepping into Santa’s boots.

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Where will Santa be?

December 7: Asda at Goddard Road

December 12: Tesco at Copdock

December 13: outside Marks and Spencer in Ipswich for late night shopping

December 14: Asda Stoke Park

December 15 and 16: Tesco in Ropes Drive, Kesgrave

December 19: Tesco at Martlesham

December 20: outside Marks and Spencer in Ipswich for late night shopping

December 21: Tesco at Copdock

December 22 and 23: Asda Stoke Park

Ipswich Mencap is on the hunt for volunteers to take on the role of Father Christmas after their usual Santa was forced to hang up his beard and sack due to sickness.

Dick Reynolds has taken on the role of Santa for the past 47 years, spreading the festive spirit throughout the town with Ipswich Mencap’s festive float.

Each year the float visits locations across Ipswich, Kesgrave and Martlesham Heath, playing Yuletide tunes and making people smile.

Donning the famous red suit, Mr Reynolds has taken to the town centre each year to help raise funds for the charity.

Another volunteer stepped in to take Mr Reynolds’ place at the weekend, with the festive float raising £633 for the charity so far.

Today, Barbara Thorn, chief executive of Ipswich Mencap, said: “Dick has done the role for the past 47 years but unfortunately he is ill and has had to stop. It really isn’t the same without him and I do miss him a lot.”

She added: “We are looking for people to dress up as Santa for a couple of hours for when our float is in the town.

“It would be great to get a few people involved.”

Anyone willing to take on the role of Father Christmas or volunteer in another capacity, is asked to call Barbara Thorn on 07766103563.

n Are you doing something festive for charity this year? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters @archant.co.uk

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