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Charity Support: spreading Christmas cheer with Ilkeston’s League of Friends

As we approach that time of year, full of joy, laughter and love, we also spend time thinking of those who may be less fortunate during this time and of the ways we can help.

Our colleague, Clive Smedley, is one of the founders of an organisation that raises money for a number of different charities.  Clive and his friend began this organisation 20 years ago and have gained a number of volunteers along the way. They have raised over £8,000 in total. Each year Clive and the volunteers plan the well-known Santa Bus to raise money for the Ilkeston League Of Friends Charity.

Some of the money raised goes towards the local hospital, helping to pay for essentials such as new beds and medical equipment.

This year, the charity have faced challenges on how to run the event during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the government's guidelines, the Santa Bus is planning another outing to bring the community together. 

How has the event been adjusted to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines?

By creating a QR code and placing it on the van, people are able to donate through their phones. This prevents the spreading of germs through cash handling and enables everyone to maintain the 2m social distancing rule.

In previous years, Santa and his friends would be walking alongside the bus, interacting with the children and adults. This year, the bus has been changed to a van with a high standing platform. This will allow everyone to have a clear view of Santa and his Elves whilst maintaining the 2m social distancing rule throughout. The van will stop at all of its destinations for approximately 10 minutes each, but Santa will remain on the van for the duration. 

How are Trust Utility Management helping this cause?

Our marketing team have created posters and banners for the cause. These were printed and put in local shops around each area. They have also been shared on the Trust website and company LinkedIn page, as well as the local community Facebook pages.

We have set up a JustGiving page and a QR Code to be placed around the van for donations. We have also placed this around our office to increase donations.

Most importantly, Trust are covering the cost of the fuel for the journey. This is a large expense that the charity no longer has to worry about.

The van will travel through Ilkeston, Kirk Hallam, Hallam Fields, Larklands and West Hallam Village. Please find the schedule below.


We can’t wait to see everyone coming to support this cause and say hello to Santa and his friends! Please help us contribute towards our local hospital and bring together our community this Christmas!

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