December is always a busy period for the Dartford Lions, with multiple collections based around the Santa Sleigh.

First stop this year was a collection in the local ASDA. Due to the weather, it was decided at the last minute not to take the sleigh, and to hide inside due to the high wind and lashing rain!

The Santa Sleigh is a Dartford Lions staple, having been a local fixture for about 50 years now. I (Dartford Lion Edward) have the Santa Sleigh as one of my earliest memories. Long before joining Lions, I heard the sleigh coming down my road, and called up my mother who rushed over so we could see it together. It is one of the starts to the Christmas season for many residents!

Half a century on from when it started, we used it as an excuse to improve the green credentials for the club. Towed by an EV which was, as best we could, charged with solar energy, we were able to power the sleigh, for the 5 evenings where we drove around the local area. Christmas music playing, local children were given small toys, and parents donated money to the Lions. All continuing the tradition and making memories for future generations.

This year, Past President Rags Sandhu was able to get a large sponsorship from Bellway London who have a large development in the town centre. This donation and the collection buckets were able to raise about £4000 for local causes!