Two Bolton organisations have joined forces to spread Christmas cheer around the borough.

The cold weather is officially among us in Bolton, but this hasn’t dampened spirits as Bolton Lever Rotary Club and Bolton Lions Clubs spread Christmas cheer with their festively adorned sleigh.

The two clubs have joined forces for many years, visiting the streets of Bolton with their Sleigh and of course the big man in red himself – Father Christmas.

And this year the sleigh has even received a makeover – it is now fully electric with a brand-new PA system to alert residents many streets away of Santa’s impending arrival.

The Bolton News: Father Christmas waves to children from his sleighFather Christmas waves to children from his sleigh (Image: Christopher Hill)

Santa will be making his way across the borough next week and it has already been very busy visiting many children around Sharples and Markland Hill.

President of Bolton Lever Rotary Club, Christopher Hill commented “The sleigh has had a very busy first week this week and has several more routes next week, including Sharples and Markland Hill.

“It has been wonderful to see so many happy, excited and smiling faces on the children’s faces when we come to visit.”

With their sleigh routes, the clubs aim to get the community in the Christmas spirit with what has become a long standing and nostalgic tradition in the area, whilst also raising money for local causes.

Organiser of Bolton Lions, John Fairhurst, said: “Despite the hard times we are facing this winter, the people of Bolton have already been incredible, we have been overwhelmed by the donations that have been made so far.”

The Bolton News: Santa and Christopher HillSanta and Christopher Hill (Image: Christopher Hill)

As part of the humanitarian support that Rotary and Lions clubs strive to achieve, a focus this year has been to encourage other voluntary groups to accompany the sleigh on the street collections to provide them with the opportunity to fundraise for their own organisations.

Two such groups this year included 27th Bolton (St Augustine’s) Brownie pack in Tonge and the Haulgh and students taking on the Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy.

Brown Owl, Nichola Smith of 27th Brownie Pack said: “We are so grateful to Rotary and Lions for giving us the opportunity to use their sleigh to fundraise for our group.

“Our Brownies often struggle to pay the subs and the money donated via the sleigh collection will go a long way to removing the financial barrier for so many children.”

The clubs would like to thank Arnold Clark for supplying the vehicle that has been nicknamed “Rudolph” for the month of December.

If you have a voluntary group and are interested in getting involved in next year’s sleigh runs, visit the Rotary Bolton Lever Facebook page and send them a message to let them know.