MORE than 200 cycling Santas raised a smile and almost £7,000 for children by taking part in a festive fundraiser.

Children’s charity the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust was delighted with the response to its fourth Annual Santa Dash Bike Ride.

The event is the brainchild of Ian Elliott of Timperley Boneshakers Cycling Club.

This year he was joined by Altrincham Football Club, which acted as the start and finish post, as well as providing an After Dash family party open to the community.

Jefferies Solicitors and LeaseCar sponsored the event, and cyclists of all abilities and ages tackled one of three routes, a family-friendly 12-mile route and two more challenging 30 and 60-mile circular routes.

All the routes included a pit stop at the charity’s Millington base for a warming glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate and a mince pie.

It was here the cyclists were transformed into Santas, as they picked up their suit for the ride back to the J. Davidson Stadium via Dunham Massey.

On their return they were rewarded with refreshments and a party thanks to children’s entertainer Pete Scotson

It wouldn’t be a Christmas party without a visit from Santa, and the man himself made an appearance and gave out gifts in his grotto.

Jure Modic, sports and challenges fundraiser at CAFT said: “I am yet again blown away by the generosity of our supporters and their willingness to make a difference.

“The money raised will go towards our Christmas programme, providing free Christmas parties to about 1,200 terminally-ill, disabled and deprived children.

“For many children visiting this will be the only Christmas dinner they will have, the only presents they will receive and the only warm feeling many of our children might take for granted.

“Many children would not be able to take part at any other party due to their disability, and sadly for some this might be the last Christmas they have.

“We are only able to do all of this due to our supporters, and all of those who took part in the Santa Dash should be very proud of what they will achieve this Christmas. We can’t thank them all enough.”