Rudolph to spread joy and raise fund as the Round Table start their Christmas tour of Ipswich
The festive lights have been switched on in the middle of Ipswich and – before we know it – Rudolph and Father Christmas will be spreading their magic around town.
Rudolph’s sleigh-ride tour is a much-anticipated December tradition in Ipswich – it just wouldn’t be Christmas without it – and puts smiles on the faces of children from Chantry to Rushmere.
The Rudolph run is organised by Ipswich Round Table, with money collected en route going to different causes each year.
In 2013 Tablers raised a record £13,000. This was split between two charities – CLIC Sargent (the UK’s leading cancer charity for children, young people and their families) and Suffolk Family Carers.
Last year they topped that – the help and generosity of the people of Ipswich raising £15,000 for the Town 102 Kids Trust Charity. The money was earmarked to help improve children’s play areas in the town.
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“This year, funds are being raised for Age UK Suffolk,” says Ipswich Round Table chairman Craig Sennett. “We’re turning our attention to the older population in Ipswich. For many, Christmas can be a difficult and often lonely time.”
It was Craig who proposed Age UK Suffolk as the 2015 beneficiary. “It was because I’d lost my own father just over two years ago and if it wasn’t for me and my sister being local she [his mother] would be alone this Christmas and I know that would be something my father would have hated.
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“I know how lucky my mother is, but I know there are many others who are not as fortunate.”
In October, Jo Reeder, Age UK Suffolk business development officer, spoke at one of Ipswich Round Table’s dinners to explain exactly what the charity did and why it was needed. A summary on the Table’s website shows she struck a chord.
“Jo surprised many of us with the figures illustrating just how many people will be alone this Christmas,” it said. “In truth it’s an easy charity for us to work with as many of us are getting to an age where our own parents are becoming older and this highlights the elderly’s plight to us all.”
Age UK Suffolk is this year running a campaign, backed by Archant, called Shine a Light on Loneliness.