Burslem Rotarians have been travelling around shopping hubs of Stoke-On-Trent, fundraising for charity and spreading a little Christmas joy to busy shoppers.
Santa and his musical sleigh have been parked outside the Potteries Centre and Mothercare in Festival Park, playing classic Christmas tunes and handing out sweets to children.
They are fundraising for regional and international charity projects, including books for children and the fight for Polio eradication around the world.
Club President Bob Cliff said: “We’ve actually only had 17 cases [of Polio]in the world this year.
“Now we have to get to no cases and be clear for three years, and then we will be quite proud to say we’ve eradicated Polio.”
There has not been a case in the UK since the 1980s when the vaccine was introduced. Rotary International has worked to introduce the vaccine to many third-world countries.
As well as disease epidemics, Rotary is often the first organisation on the scene to provide aid after natural disasters.
They provide tents and shelter boxes to house and feed those affected.
Rotary is over 100 years old and have around 1.2 million members worldwide.
The Burslem branch is one of 35,000 clubs around the world fundraising for their global relief efforts.
Christmas is one of Rotary’s biggest fundraising seasons.
Rotary volunteer Barry Lewis has been out in the community with Santa and his sleigh.
He said: “We have a fantastic time and we enjoy it. Some of the children we see have never really seen Santa Claus.
“It’s good for them and we all enjoy doing it.”
Christmas shopper Hayley was out with her two daughters aged 3 and 6 when they came across the club’s sleigh.
She said: “It’s great to see some Christmas spirit for the kids. Shopping at this time of year is so busy and boring for them but it was good for them to see Santa.
“Hopefully the sweets they we’re handing out should keep my two [daughters]entertained while I’m running around the shops.”
Mr Cliff added the club are welcoming new members.
He said: “We would love to see young people coming in to it because it is a fantastic organisation.”
Also, he urges anyone wanting to get involved with the Burslem branch to approach any of their fundraisers for more information.
You can also contact them on 01782 811 411 or via [email protected]
The club meets every two weeks on a Wednesday at Port Vale Football Club.
You can find the volunteers, Santa and his sleigh back outside of Mothercare on Festival Park this Saturday December 15.