A popular and long-standing Christmas initiative which sees Santa’s sleigh visit homes across Sutton during the festive period has hit a huge £100,000 fundraising milestone.

Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club, which took over Cheam’s Santa sleigh in 2009, has smashed the major target in almost its 10th year.

Father Christmas has been out and about in the borough since December 2 in the build-up to Christmas Day, playing merry tunes and collecting for several charities.

Peter Bright, from Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club, said: “It takes a lot of manpower and it’s great fun to dress up a van as the Santa’s sleigh.

“Last year in December 2017, we were able to raise about £13,000 with the sleigh in aid of many local charities and groups – including Sutton Mencap, Save the Children, the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and many scout and guide groups, to name some of them.”

The Santa Sleigh’s first outing was in 1966 and run by the Cheam Round Table before the Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club took over in 2009.

Sign writer Gerry Booth, of the Wallington Rotary and Cheam Round Table, has been involving in both building and painting all 53 floats, joining in collections each year.

On its first run the amount collected was £150 but that figure has rapidly grown annually, and the target is to now reach £15,000 this year.

This year, a live Santa tracker has been launched so people can see where his sleigh has been, and where he will be next.