Our Mission Enabling and supporting people to live full and independent lives

Santa Dash 2017

By Annie Veenman

Published 5th December 2017

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My name is Jordan and I am a fundraising intern for Imagine Independence. I have recently taken part in this year’s Santa Dash to raise funds for Imagine Independence.

It is common for people to enter a charity run to pay tribute to a loved one who may be suffered from a specific illness. I sadly lost my dad last year to pancreatic cancer, but was plagued by issues surrounding his mental health which contributed to his sudden death.

I decided to sign up for this year’s Santa Dash and reached out to members of staff who would like to join me in raising mental health awareness as well as promoting the positive impact Imagine have in the community.

I signed up to my local gym and committed at least 3-4 days of solid sessions, focusing on my cardio and strength. My “gym buddy” pushed me to my limits and introduced a strict weekly training regime which was invaluable to my fitness.

A lot of fun was had when promoting the Santa Dash. We experimented with short video clips of myself dressed up in my blue Santa suit as I am an avid Everton fan. I could simply not bring myself to wear the red of our fiercest rivals Liverpool, which was met with some friendly banter by staff members.

So, all the months of training had to come a head and it was time for me to lace up my running shoes and to hit the streets. The Liverpool Santa Dash has received such widespread attention from local and national media in previous years, with thousands of people from all walks of life pledging their support to attend such a grand spectacle in the “Scouse” Calendar. It was a cold frost morning and Liverpool City Centre was transformed into a winter wonderland.

As the starting klaxon sounded I was shocked and amazed by the magnitude of the event. Over 7,500 Santas were let loose, which made for a truly surreal experience and a sight to behold. The Santa Dash was 5km and took me down a familiar route jogging through famous Liverpudlian streets such as Victoria Street, Dale Street and Old Hall Street. As I maintained a steady pace throughout, I took a moment to soak in the atmosphere. Everyone was in high spirits as spectators had turned out in their droves to shout words of encouragement and participants had gone the extra mile by adding their own unique twist to proceedings.

As I approached the finishing line, I was greeted by a chorus of drums from a Brazilian Samba Band all dressed up as Santa’s and a stream of snow like confetti descended from the cold crisp winter sky as I successfully completed the run to a rapturous applause.

Overall, I raised £245 for Imagine Independence, thanks to an overwhelming response from friends, family and colleagues who have supported me throughout my journey. I would never of thought in my wildest dreams I would be running around Liverpool City Centre dressed up in a blue santa suit raising money for such a great cause. If I had the opportunity I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I have seen such a huge difference in both my physical and mental health and I am exploring the possibilities of entering a 10k in the spring of next year so WATCH THIS SPACE!