Raise money for Barnado’s Kidsmas Appeal and help reignite the magic of Christmas for vulnerable children.

Last year, Barnardo’s helped 358,800 children, young people and parents. Now it is calling on runners and walkers of all abilities to help them to continue to provide much-needed support for young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents by racing Santa around the world, ahead of the big man’s busiest night of the year.

Happily, how fit you are or how far you can pound the pavement is not the point of this exercise. Instead, this wonderfully inclusive event is open to people of all abilities, fitness levels and ages to raise money for Barnardo’s, all while having fun.

All each participant need do is to complete twenty-four miles in twenty-four days, kicking off on 1 December. The collective target distance? A mere 24,901 miles, otherwise known as the circumference of the globe.

Since the philanthropic wanderers will not, alas, have the advantage of a sleigh, or a sustaining brandy and mince pie at the bottom of every chimney, the charity has resolved to give its walkers a 24-day head start. So why not wolf down your first advent calendar chocolate, gather up some friends and go on a sponsored mission for Barnardo’s to beat the jolliest elf around the globe?

Those who participate will be encouraged to share pictures and updates with their supporters along the way, using the hashtag #RaceSanta. And every penny raised will go straight into the Barnardo’s Kidsmas appeal coffers, its purpose to help vulnerable children feel happy and safe and to rediscover the magic this Christmas time.

Barnardo’s interim co-CEO Michelle Lee-Izu said, ‘For lots of children, Christmas is a time for family, festivities and fun. But for many of the vulnerable children Barnardo’s supports it often comes with serious challenges.

‘This year, with, poverty, bereavement, mental health issues, loneliness and isolation having risen in the wake of the Covid pandemic, even more children will be deprived of the chance to enjoy the festive season.

‘That’s why this year’s Kidsmas campaign is so important. By taking part in Race Santa, lacing up your trainers or donning your walking shoes and heading out for a mile each day– or more if you feel up to it – you will help to make this Christmas a more magical time for vulnerable children and help Barnardo’s to support them all year round.

‘Now, more than ever, we need the support of our partners and the generosity of the British public to raise funds to reach the children who need us most.’

As we prepare to reunite with families and joyfully gather for Christmas, it is also important to spare a thought and some time for the many children who are struggling, whether with poverty, mental health issues or family circumstances.

Keen to take part? Visit Barnardo’s here to find out how you can race Santa, as well as to learn about other aspects of Kidsmas. This Christmas, help Barnardo’s to help vulnerable children in the UK and reignite the magic of the festive season.

By Nancy Alsop
November 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.