Santas on the Seafront: 18 of the best photos as Worthing remembers popular businessman with Christmas event

People of all ages – and even dogs – dressed as Santa for a Christmas run on the seafront in memory of a popular businessman.

The West Sussex South Branch of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) held their annual Santas on the Seafront 5K Dash on Saturday (December 10). The event is held each year to raise awareness of MND, which took the life of 54-year-old Stuart Acaster in August 2020.

Santa costumes were certainly a good option as it helped the dozens of runners, and walkers, keep warm.

Following the run, Stuart’s wife, Sue, said "We would like to thank everyone who supported the event and made a donation. It was a fantastic success.

"We had 43 advance registrations and lots more who joined the run for fun. Next year we’ll do a headcount!

"We have raised over £500 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association West Sussex South Branch, with donations still coming in.”

The sun was shining for the event and the scores of Santas who took part said what fun it had been. Several dogs accompanied their owners and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to run along the seafront too.

The winners in the men's category were; Mark Mellish in first place, followed by Steve Collette and Mark Simmonds.

Annette Maynard topped the women's category, followed by Abigail Whiteley and Emily Wadge, with Theo the dog.

The best dressed Santa/elf award was won by Dr Peter West.

Judith Allen, vice chairperson of the MNDA West Sussex South Branch, said: “Well done to everyone who took part. We look forward to seeing you next year [on Saturday, December 9].

"We would like to thank Judith, Barbara, Claire and Frances from our committee who came down to help when it was very cold; Alastair for help updating the JustGiving page and Dean for sorting out the graphics for the banners and posters.

“Also, big thanks go to Run Academy Worthing, who have kept Sue sane over the last two years. There is no finish line until there is a cure for this awful disease.”

All enquiries should be directed via email to [email protected].

Motor Neurone Disease affects one in 300 people. The volunteers at the West Sussex branch raise much needed funds to help people living with MND in the community.

Judith added: “We have a group of association visitors who support families in many ways; often this is by guiding them to the right place to get help, and they can be the first people to talk with when a diagnosis has been received.

"The branch helps to provide equipment, support for carers, and arrange therapies such as massage and transport to hospital appointments when someone can no longer drive.

“If you would like to know more about our branch, please visit our website at or contact us for further information.

"If you would like to volunteer or hold a fundraising event, we would love to support that and can offer MND T-shirts, collecting buckets, information leaflets, banners and the volunteers themselves!”

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