FATHER Christmas is set to roll into Colchester today in a bid to boost residents' mood... and raise some dosh for Colchester Foodbank at the same time.

With the help of Colchester Roundtable, Colchester Community First Responders, Colchester Community Group, Colchester Anti Loo Roll Brigade and councillors, the big man himself will be speeding across the town this morning.

The routes will take him across Greenstead, Highwoods, St. Johns, Mile End, Monkwick and Shrub End.

Donations will be collected across the route to support the foodbank's incredible work supporting the most vulnerable in the community and Colchester Community First Responders.

Youngsters are encouraged to take a picture with him and post them on social media, tagging @FoodbankColchester, in exchange for a donation of course.

He is also being joined by a few famous friends along the way.

Braintree and Witham Times: Picture: Colchester Community First RespondersPicture: Colchester Community First Responders

Madelen Tobiasson, co-ordinator with Colchester Community First Responders, said: “Colchester Community First Responders have throughout the pandemic been working with Colchester Foodbank.

"We have helped them with collecting food and delivering food parcels to vulnerable people.

"It is great to work together with another charity and we hope that this event will cheer up the residents in Colchester and generate further donations for both charities.”

Donations of food as well as cash will be accepted at certain points on the route.

Mike Beckett, chief officer of Colchester Foodbank, said: “We hope this gives local children a bit of socially distanced Christmas magic and a pick me up.

"We are delighted to continue our work with a fellow frontline charity Community First Responders who have been just as busy as the foodbank following the lockdown.

"At the start of the coronavirus outbreak, many foodbanks across the country struggled to get hold of supplies due to mass panic buying, but here in Colchester you kept on being generous and helped us when we needed you.

"Demand for the foodbank has been high in recent months and we are doing all we can to make sure local people don’t suffer through lack of food during the lockdown.

"To help the foodbank to continue, we request food donations to drop off points along the route.

"The volunteers can accept non-perishable food like pasta, rice, noodles, long-life milk and longlife fruit juice, tinned rice pudding, tinned custard, jam and spreads, tinned fruit, pasta sauce, laundry supplies and toiletries.”

Santa will be in these areas this morning:

  • Mile End 9am
  • Highwoods 10am
  • St. John’s start 11am
  • Greenstead 12noon (Collecting food at the Community Centre from 12.30pm)
  • New Town 1.30pm
  • Monkwick 3pm

For more information and details of the routes, visit facebook.com/FoodBankColchester.