A group of volunteers at Cheam and Sutton Rotary Club have raised a whopping £18,000 for local charities over the Christmas period.

Cheam and Sutton Rotary’s main Christmas activity is the Santa Sleigh which tours around the streets of Cheam, Sutton and Worcester Park from December 1 up until Christmas Eve.

The Santa Sleigh has been running since 1966 and is a popular festive feature in the community.

Returning for the 53rd year, Santa and his elves raised £13,000.

Other Christmas activities this year included participation in Cheam Village Christmas Evening with the club’s traditional mulled wine and mince pies stand, which included a lucky dip this year as well as gingerbread decoration.

The club also organises supermarket collections and this season they were at Sutton Morrisons and at Sainsbury’s in Sutton and in North Cheam.

These activities resulted in bringing the total of the raised funds to over £18,000.

Some of the charities to benefit include Sutton Night Watch, Sutton Women’s Centre, Cheam Day Centre, Sutton Lodge Centre, MS Sutton and Croydon Centre.

The distribution of the funds to charities will take place on January 29.

Colin Myerscough, the President of the Club, said: “We have just put our sleigh away for another year with the satisfaction of completing another successful year in fundraising.

"For us Rotarians it is very important to support local charities with our fundraising and know that we are helping those in need. What is more we have fun, too.

"We thank everyone who has supported us during this period and we thank Morrisons Sutton and Sainsbury's in Sutton and North Cheam for giving us the opportunity to do collections.

"We would love to see more people joining Rotary. We have an open evening coming up on February 19 where we will host everyone who is interested in learning about how Rotary makes a difference in our community. All are welcome if they can inform us of their attendance beforehand. Our e-mail is openevening@cheamsuttonrotary.com"