Actress Claire Skinner, star of the award-winning BBC sitcom Outnumbered, is to return to her native Hemel Hempstead to launch and take part in the sixth annual Santa Dash in aid of The Hospice of St Francis.
The former Cavendish School student, who plays beleaguered mum Sue Brockman in the popular family show, will don her Santa suit alongside hordes of fellow Santas for the charity’s festive fundraiser at Riverside on Sunday, December 15.
Poignantly, she’s doing it in memory of her close friend, Steve, who recently spent his final weeks in a hospice.
“Steve lived alone and for the last few weeks of his life, his local hospice provided invaluable support and care and gave him such a sense of peace that he visibly relaxed,” said mum-of-two, Claire, 48.
“Hospices are just amazing places that give so much in terms of care, help, love and support and I just want to show my support for what would be my local hospice if I still lived in Hemel Hempstead.”
Claire, who was born and brought up in Gadebridge and Boxmoor until she headed off to drama school aged 18, will be running the 2.5 mile route with the family dog Fred.
“We’ll be dashing as Santa and Rudi and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Claire, who now lives in north London with her director husband Charlie Palmer and sons Bill, 14, and Tom, 12.
“Fred’s very lively, even though he’s nine. He loves people so he’ll be very excited and of course he’ll be wearing a festive collar,” said Claire.
“The thought of all those people dressed up in Santa suits really tickles me, but the idea that all these people are doing it to raise money to help make a difference to the lives of people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families really strikes a chord.
“When you lose someone you love, you realise how important these places are. So all you Outnumbered fans out there, come on and dash for a fantastic cause. It’s just the kind of thing that Sue, Pete, Jake, Ben and Karen from Outnumbered would do.”
Open to all ages, the event starts at 10am at Riverside. Registration costs £15 for adults, £5 for children or £35 for the whole family and this includes your Santa suit or reindeer antlers.
Entrants are asked to raise as much as they can in sponsorship for the hospice and Outnumbered fans can sponsor Claire here
The top fundraising family will win a family meal courtesy of sponsors The Red Lion at Water End. The top fundraising team will win a free sledging session and the top fundraiser will bag a free private lesson from The Snow Centre. There will be also be prizes for the school and business who enter the most Santas.
Register now by clicking here or call 01442 869555.