Record-breaking collection for Rudolph trail tradition delights organisers

Rudolph outside the Golden Hind, in Ipswich

The Greyfriars Round Table event has been going for 51 years - Credit: Glenn Williamson

Santa and Rudolph raised a record-breaking amount this year, with more than £22,597 collected as they travelled Ipswich's streets. 

In its 51st year the tradition organised by Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table saw a 42% increase on its 2020 bucket collection, with £15,000 going to benefit Genesis Orwell Mencap. 

And the introduction of Rudolph's Very Important Children saw 14 gifts given to amazing and inspiring children from the town.

The event started in Kesgrave on December 1 and Santa and his trusty steed popped up all across Ipswich over the Christmas period.

Glenn Williamson, chairman of the Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table, said: "We're all delighted with how it all worked out after the previous year, in the pandemic, didn't allow for door-knocking collections.

The team collecting for Genesis Orwell Mencap

The team have celebrated a successful 2021 collection - Credit: Glenn Williamson

"There was also a concern that as we go to a cashless society it would impact on bucket collection, but with the record-breaking year we can let go of those worries. 

"It's such a great local tradition and it's still hugely loved; the amount of people who came out was phenomenal. 

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"It was also great to launch the Very Important Children initiative and we'll be bringing that back. 

"And we're always looking for other good causes to support - you'd think there'd be loads of charities looking for help but it's not the case, so get in touch."

Santa and Rudolph outside the Golden Hind

Santa delivered 14 presents to very special children across Ipswich - Credit: Glenn Williamson

Most of the funds raised will go to the Green Bike Project, which was established by Genesis Orwell Mencap in 2008 to teach adults and young people with learning or physical disabilities how to repair old bikes for resale at an affordable price. 

The current facility for the project, a converted shipping container, is unfit for purpose and doesn't have the space required for the number of people who want to use the service. 

But the support from Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table will go towards a building a new, accessible home for the project, with upgraded equipment and work stations, meaning it can help more people and fix more bikes. 

Any local charity or good cause looking for funding should make contact with Glenn and the team at ipswichroundtable.org.uk.