A COMMUNITY club’s Christmas fundraiser has seen it raise nearly £10,000 for charity.

Braintree Lions Club was able to raise the cash through its annual Santa trail which sees Father Christmas go around housing estates in and and around Braintree to greet families.

The 2019 trail was in danger of going off the tracks when vandals damaged the sleigh used in the fundraiser, but organisers defied the odds to raise a grand total of £7,584, with much of the money coming through donations from the public.

A further £2,100 was raised by a Christmas raffle making a grand total of £9,684.

The cash will be split between Macmillan and Helen Rollason cancer care, the Tabor Centre, the Little Havens, and J’s hospices, Mencap, and primary and junior school PTAs.

A Lions spokesman said: “We are very pleased with the results given the publicity surrounding the vandalism. It probably helped as people were sympathetic to the situation we found ourselves in.”

“We wish to thank all of our supporters and collectors and those members of the public who donated so generously during our street collections around Braintree and at the static collections at Braintree Village and the Toby Inn.”