Platt Fields Santa dash gets star sparkle

By Paulyn Lloyd

Coronation Street’s Ryan Thomas (Jason) will join more than a thousand Santas running, jogging walking or dancing  around Platt Fields Park as part of the Co-operative’s annual Santa Dash tomorrow.

This is the second year the Co-operative have held the event and every year they choose a different charitable organisation as their Charity of the Year.

Their chosen charity for 2011 is Mencap and the dash will be their first event with all profits being donated to them. They will officially launch the partnership in January 2011.

The Co-operative Group Chief Executive, Peter Marks said: “I’d like to encourage everyone to take

part in this spectacular event. Running and raising money for Mencap will have a tremendous and

positive impact on young people with a learning disability.”

The charity was chosen by more than 42,000 Co-operative employees.

The Co-operative’s support will allow Mencap and Enable Scotland to launch a ground-breaking programme offering more support for young people with a learning disability including a range of volunteering employment and community involvement opportunities.

Ryan said: “The event promises to be great fun and will raise money for an extremely worthwhile cause.  I’m sure it will be a huge success.”

Last year the Co-operative Group’s Charity of The Year initiative raised £3.7 million for RNID and this year they hope to raise £5 million for Mencap to transform the lives of 20,000 young people.

Mark Goldring, Mencap’s chief executive said: “We are delighted to be chosen by the Co-operative Group to be its Charity of the Year.”

He said their support will help them empower young people with a learning disability to challenge prejudices and inspire others to see the person and not the disability.

For more information about The Co-operative Santa Dash visit

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