Charities benefit from Rotary Christmas Collections


Santa Claus and the people of Thurrock have given a boost to some great causes – and the Rotary Club of Grays Thurrock got the cheque book out to prove it.

Cheques for £6,750 were presented to the five good causes by club President Brian Little at a special awards lunch at the Orsett Hall on Thursday.

The money had been raised by Santa and the Rotary club with their traditional sleigh tours around Grays, Orsett, and Chadwell St Mary and by further collections at Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco Lakeside and Morrison’s.

“It was a fantastic effort” Little said. “The weather was very wet at times and we had to cancel the sleigh collection in Tilbury because of the torrential rain and dangerously high winds, but the community was generous and once again we were able to support these good causes.

Cheques for £1,800 each were presented to Little Haven’s Hospice and Treetops School, £1,200 went to Barnardo’s and Great Ormond Street Hospital and £750 went to Thurrock Explorer Scouts.

“Each of these organisations are there for the young people of Thurrock whether in a crisis or over long-term need or support, Little said.

“We are very grateful to the supermarkets for allowing us, once again, to collect from their customers. It was a real whole-community effort.

Already plans are in place to bring Santa to Thurrock to ride the sleigh and visit the supermarkets next year. The Grays club is also seeking support from other groups or individuals that may wish to volunteer to join the collecting team.

“We are hoping that some local companies, clubs or organisations will ‘partner’ us for one evening with the sleigh. It is a great way of giving something back to the community and is a great team-building experience,” said sleigh committee chairman, Rotarian Alan Peaford. “We had a couple of companies that came out with us this year and they really enjoyed it.” Anyone who would like to help can contact Alan on

Caption : 

Grays Rotary Club president Brian Little gets ready to sign the cheques from the Christmas collections. (L-R Anne French (Barnardos) Emma Dell (Thurrock Explorer Scouts); Peter Hall (Little Haven Hospice); Paul Smith (Treetops School); Liz Stevens  (Sainsbury’s) and Sam Day  (ASDA)