Father Christmas is making his way to Darlington once again as Darlington Bondgate Round Table prepares for another chokka December.

The group has been organising Santa’s sleigh ride in and around Darlington for decades and it’s not just the children who can’t get enough of the man in the big red suit.

The first route this year is starting on Sunday, December 4 around Middleton St George.

The team behind the event continues to raise money each year and the generosity of Darlington people never ceases to surprise them.

The Northern Echo: Darlington Bondgate Round Table explains the importance of Santa's sleigh each year in Darlington and where the public's donations go towardsDarlington Bondgate Round Table explains the importance of Santa's sleigh each year in Darlington and where the public's donations go towards (Image: Tracy Kidd Photography)

Read more: 21 pictures of Darlington Christmas lights switch-on

Between £7,000 and £10,000 is raised each year and the money is always donated to local causes.

Darlington Carnival, First Stop, and Bike Stop are examples of good community causes that have benefitted from the selfless act the team does.

Individuals also benefit from Santa and his helpers though, and the team encourages anyone who finds themselves in times of hardship to get in touch through either the Darlington Bondgate Round Table Facebook page or the Santa Satnav Facebook page.

James Taylor-Garthwaite, this year’s chairman for Darlington Bondgate Round Table said: “The reason it’s so popular is because it’s been going on for so long and of course the children love it but it’s also very nostalgic for adults.

“We always aim to help local causes that often don’t get much recognition. This is money from Darlington people so it’s only right that the money be donated to Darlington causes, whether that’s a registered charity or an individual/family in need.”

Read more: Darlington's 'famous' Christmas tree farm and shop opens this weekend

Paul Swift, one of Santa’s most trusted helpers when in Darlington, said: “Everyone loves it because it reminds people of when they were younger. I used to love watching the sleigh go through Mowden when I was a kid. It’s like the official beginning of Christmas in the town.”

Father Christmas and his helpers were also spotted at the Christmas Lights Switch-On in Darlington last weekend (Sunday, November 20) to get the public in the spirit of things.

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