Santa's helper set to slim down in Shoreham

A man who may be recognised as one of Father Christmas' helpers in Shoreham has resolved to shift some pounds ahead of the summer period to raise funds for charity.

Rodney Broom-Sopp with manager Vicky Rickman and volunteers Sophie Boiling and Penny Nelson
Rodney Broom-Sopp with manager Vicky Rickman and volunteers Sophie Boiling and Penny Nelson

Rodney Broom-Sopp, of the Mannings, dressed up as Santa Claus at the Cancer Research shop in East Street this Christmas – helping the shop win a best dressed window award thanks to his authentic look.

But the 61-year-old father, who has been advised by his doctor that he is borderline diabetic, has now decided to do a sponsored slim to lose weight and give back to Cancer Research. He said of his stint at the shop this year: “I enjoyed it so much. I was so nervous, but once I got into it, it was an absolute delight. It gave me such a boost.”

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He said the idea of a sponsored slim was mutually beneficial. “As well as helping Cancer Research, it’s a good incentive for me to get healthy again,” he said.

Rodney Broom-Sopp at the Cancer Research shop in Shoreham

“Over the last few years I’ve put on a bit of weight. With this idea, I’m in the limelight – that’s a pressure I want. It will make me do it.”

Mr Broom-Sopp, who weighs 15 stone, hopes to lose two stone over a ten-week period by walking and watching his diet. He plans to walk a longer route to his workplace, Southover Foods in Albion Street, Southwick, taking a 40-minute stroll via Buckingham Park.

He has the support of his wife, Melanie, who works at the Co-Op in the High Street and often accompanies her husband on walks, and his daughter Vicky, who works at Bakhai Pharmacy in East Street.

Vicky Rickman, manager at the Cancer Research shop, said: “It’s a great idea. At the moment, there’s a big campaign nationwide about the second biggest cause of cancer being obesity, so it ties in with that. He hopes to raise about £500, which would be wonderful.”

Sponsorship forms can be found at the East Street shop.