The North Pole will be empty this December as a team of Santas are invading Woking. But they have left behind Rudolph and the sleigh to travel by bike. 

The Downslink Challenge Santa Cruz has been running for three years. And after what began with only six Santas, co-organiser Steve Mckeown now expects more than 30 Santas to take to the road this year, all bedecked in their Christmas finery. 

The Santa Cruz will take place on Sunday, December 10 and will start from the Garibaldi pub.

The cycle route will be around five miles and will see the Santas call into various pubs, shaking their collection buckets for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospice and Wellbeing Care.

The charity provides free end-of-life care and support for some 2,000 people across North West Surrey each year, also supporting their families and carers.

A whopping £7,000 was raised for the hospice and Tourettes Action at the Downslink Challenge in June, where cyclists undertook either a 48- or 96-mile challenge from Knaphill to Brighton. 

But the organisers don’t stop at cycling. Last weekend they held The Downslink Gin Festival. Eighty-seven attendees sampled ten fabulous gins, many from local distillers. 

The Downslink Challenge is delighted that while this year has been financially tough for everyone, so far £12,288 has been raised. 

This brings the total amount the team have raised since 2016 to more than £150,000.

Anyone interested in joining the Santa Cruz and bringing that total even higher should email Steve on [email protected]