The visit of Santa to the streets of Lower Morden is often regarded as the ‘start of Christmas’ for many in the community, but this year coronavirus has put a halt to his trip.
A large sleigh travels the roads wishing a merry Christmas to all the residents on the streets, and is a great opportunity for the community to come together and chat.
Due to the coronavirus, Santa is now having to shield and will not be able to greet everyone in Lower Morden in the spirit of the festive season.
Morden Rotary Club have been the masterminds behind Santa’s journey for more than 45 years, and the collection boxes on the sleigh help fundraise for the incredible charity work they do in the surrounding areas.
Club president John De Ronde said: “It breaks my heart that we can’t do it.
“We are all pretty sad about it, we enjoy going around the community at Christmas, personally I really enjoy it, seeing the joy on the children’s faces and having people come out of their houses to see us and also greet each other.
“The thing I am going to miss is that we have adults, with children of their own, telling us that when they were growing up, we watched Santa come round these streets and it is something really nice to look forward to at Christmas.
“We have been advised by our rotary district that we can’t do the rounds this year and still be insured through our rotary public liability insurance. So we have decided it’s better not to do it this year.”
De Ronde took on the president role in 2019 and surpassed the usual tenure of one year, as he was rewarded with an extra year for his work.
Morden Rotary Club have helped in schools like Perseid Upper and Lower School, which helps students with disabilities.
The Rotary Club have also helped the children of Cricket Green School in Mitcham, which also helps students with special educational needs.
The collection boxes on Santa’s sleigh fundraise for St Raphael’s Hospice and other local charities.
Without Santa’s journey this vital fundraising will not be able to take place.
In place of the collection boxes, Morden Rotary Club have set up a GoFundMe which you can donate to here.