Ipswich Rudolph Run defies Covid to raise 'morale boosting' £17k

The 2020 Rudolph Run went ahead in Ipswich despite the coronavirus crisis

The 2020 Rudolph Run went ahead in Ipswich despite the coronavirus crisis - Credit: Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table

Ipswich's popular Rudolph Run defied the coronavirus crisis to raise more than £17,000 - after organisers said they were determined to bring a "morale boost" to their town.

Organisers from Ipswich Round Table, which runs the annual event, said: "With the ongoing pandemic and constant changes to national restrictions, we thought that this might have to be the first year in which the tradition was cancelled."

Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table Rudolph Run 2020

The 2020 Ipswich Rudolph Run raised more than £17,000 - Credit: Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table

Many other community and charity fundraising events across Suffolk were cancelled in 2020.

However Glenn Williamson, from the Round Table, said that while the "planning and execution of the 2020 Rudy Appeal was not plain sailing", he added: "We were adamant that in what ever capacity possible, the sleigh would bring the much-needed boost of morale to our local communities."

Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table 2020 Rudolph Run

Social distancing was maintained at all times during the 2020 Rudolph Run - Credit: Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table

In normal times, collectors would follow Santa and his sleigh as they toured Suffolk's county town.

This year, it was decided that collectors would just follow the procession and maintain social distancing at all times.

As such, Mr Williamson said: "We had no expectations of collecting the thousands we have done in past years."

Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table 2020 Rudolph Run

Charities are set to benefit from the money raised at the 2020 Rudolph Run - Credit: Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table

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But he said: "When it came to counting the bucket collections and text/online donations at the end of December, we were astounded by the generosity of those that had donated."

In total, £17,329.25 was raised - more than has been raised in previous years.

It is not yet known where the money will go, but several charities have already appealed to be beneficiaries of this year's fund.

Last year, the money went towards new life-saving equipment for the Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) and SERV - Suffolk and Cambridgeshire blood bikes.

The year before, money was donated to dementia care services at Ipswich Hospital.

The Rudolph Run has been running for 50 years, with ‘elves’ walking alongside Father Christmas collecting valuable funds for charity.

Starting at the Australia Estate, Santa’s sleigh usually visits areas such as Chantry, the California area and Bramford Road ahead of the festive season.

Anyone who knows of a good cause which they feel deserves  to benefit should visit ipswichroundtable.co.uk

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