'The kids loved it’: Santa’s summer trip to Hornchurch marked as a huge success

Phil Shacklady, one of the organisers, described the event as going "fantastically well"

Phil Shacklady, one of the organisers, described the event as going 'fantastically well' - Credit: Sandra Rowse

Hornchurch welcomed a surprise, out-of-season visit from Santa Claus last weekend, as Saint Nicholas stopped by to help collect food for families in need. 

Lending a hand to the Hornchurch Round Table on Sunday (July 24), Santa was part of a crew on the hunt for items including tinned fruit, fish, pasta and long-life milk to donate to local foodbanks

Phil Shacklady, one of the organisers, said Father Christmas' trip went “fantastically well”.

“It was really, really good,” he said. “You kind of think, ‘how’s it going to work, taking Santa out in summer?’, but it went really, really well.

“The kids loved it.” 

Summer Lane, 3, with dad Bradley donating food to Santa

Summer Lane, 3, with dad Bradley donating food to Santa - Credit: Sandra Rowse

Food donations from All-InZ Corner

Local Hornchurch shops also provided food donations, including All-InZ Corner - Credit: Sandra Rowse

Three carloads and more than £400 were collected over the course of the day as Santa and his helpers took to the streets accompanied by a Christmas/summer medley of music playing from his famous sleigh. 

Phil said the team also distributed leaflets raising awareness of the Wennington fundraiser set up by The Salvation Army and supported by Havering Council to provide financial aid for those impacted by the devastating fires. 

Andy Furneru donates food to Santa

Three carloads of food were collected, including a contribution from local Andy Furneru - Credit: Sandra Rowse

Santa and his helpers collecting food for families in need

Santa and his helpers collecting food for families in need - Credit: Sandra Rowse