AN independent Christmas fair will be held to celebrate the festive season while raising funds for a good cause.

The Christmas card and gifts fair fundraiser on Sunday will feature Santa’s grotto, festive music, raffles and many stalls with handmade goods.

Guests can indulge in last-minute Christmas shopping, with handcrafted items such as candles, personalised items, baubles, bags, clothing and more on offer.

The fair will also raise funds for Nicola Dallinger, 30, of Heybridge, who is trying to get £2,000 to run the 2020 London Marathon in aid of Farleigh Hospice.

The mum-of-two said: “People should come along to not only support the amazing charity that is Farleigh Hospice, but also to support the local small businesses with their fantastic goodies.

“It will also give people the chance to come and see Father Christmas before he heads back to the North Pole to get ready for Christmas Eve, and to finish off Christmas shopping with any last-minute gifts and decorations.”

She will be selling handmade cards and gifts from Stripey Rabbit, a business she set up last November.

Nicola said: “I was in quite a dark place and decided to try and make something a bit more positive for myself and do something for ‘me’.

“I’m so glad I did because I wouldn’t be doing something like this now otherwise.

“Come and enjoy the Christmassy atmosphere at the last Christmas fair and Santa’s grotto experience of the year!”

Nicola is running the marathon in memory of her grandfather, who died from blood cancer in 2012, aged 87.

She added: “I chose Farleigh because of the support they gave to not only my grandad and husband’s nan, but also to their immediate families such as my nan, mum, aunts, uncles, father-in-law and mother-in-law.

“Not only that, but they’re a local charity who rely on donations from the public to keep them running in the way that they do.”

The fair will take place at Maldon Town Hall from 11am to 2pm. For more information, visit