Review of the year 2017: December

Runners in the Santa Canta. Picture: James Walsh

Runners in the Santa Canta. Picture: James Walsh - Credit: Archant

Almost 300 runners in Santa hats kicked off the festive month as they took on the biggest ever 5km Santa Canta in Letchworth.

Orla with Luke, 8, and the letter he wrote to Santa. Picture Keech Hospice.

Orla with Luke, 8, and the letter he wrote to Santa. Picture Keech Hospice. - Credit: Archant

Father Christmases, snowmen, elves and fairies got into the spirit at the start of the month in aid of the Herts MS Therapy Centre.

For running two laps around Norton Common, the group raised a record total of £723 for the charity.

The prize for best Christmas outfit went to Shani Fielding, and best family dress-up was won by Spencer Bevan and his sons Kai and Leo.

Charitable acts didn’t stop there, as eight-year-old Luke Bedford from Knebworth wrote a selfless letter to Father Christmas after discovering his friend’s cousin Orla Hermitage has a brain tumour.

Jane Gill sledging with her four-year-old granddaughter Rosie. Picture: Margesson Photography

Jane Gill sledging with her four-year-old granddaughter Rosie. Picture: Margesson Photography - Credit: Archant


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He asked Santa – through Keech Hospice Care – to help the little girl and other unwell children like her. In the letter, he wrote: “Dear Mr Claus and Mrs Claus, aka Santa. The only thing I want for Christmas is money for charity.

“Please may you give it to Keech Hospice and sick children because I have a friend Thomas who has a cousin who is currently suffering from cancer and I want my friend to have a cousin and other people. Please, please, please give me no presents for Christmas, love Luke.”

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Luke’s letter brought comfort to Orla’s parents, Susan and Simon Hermitage, who said: “It’s so sweet to hear about Luke’s letter and we’re touched by it. It’s utterly selfless and an extraordinary thing for a little boy to do.”

Luke’s £5,000 target has now been reached, but you can still donate to Keech by texting ORLA17 and either £5, £10 or £20 to 70070.

There may not have been a white Christmas this year, but there’s certainly been plenty of December snow.

Of course there was chaos on the roads and train services were disrupted, but many decided to wrap up warm and enjoy the snow while it lasted.

We were also inundated with pictures of children and parents out building snowmen and sledging.

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