A FOODBANK was given a festive boost by a generous firm and councillors for the second year running.

The Santaceptor, a non-profit group started in 2020 by the Bury firmAction Media Hire, saw Father Christmas make his way around Bury and Radcliffe in a police interceptor vehicle, dishing out chocolate selection boxes and accepting kind donations from the public for Trinity Foodbank.

Santa Claus and his helpers teamed up with Tina Harrison, volunteer administrator and co-ordinator at the foodbank to raise £1,390 for the foodbank, delivering over 1000 chocolate boxes to children, donated by local businesses.

The Santaceptor started from Tesco on Woodfield Retail Park and distributed chocolate boxes over four nights.

Action Media Hire is a media company that preserves police cars and loans them to be used in film and TV.

Brent-James Pinder, the firm's director, said: “The whole festive event wouldn’t have taken place if it wasn’t for the support of Greater Manchester Police's Chief Supt Chris Hill and Insp Kevin Wright, authorising the Santaceptor car being used on local roads and seeing the community benefit.

“Even if we just raised one pound, I’d consider that a win because we’ve brought so much joy to people this year, to see the smiles on the faces of the children and their parents is priceless.

“This time of year, foodbanks are needed, but now they are needed more than ever after the pandemic which put so many people in a bad place and some children haven’t been able to see Santa.

“We try to be quite charitable and from now on, along with my wife and business partner, Helen, we want to help out a different charity each year.”

Councillors in Radcliffe also donated money from their discretionary funds to help the foodbank continue its work over Christmas.

Cllrs Gareth Staples-Jones, Jo Lancaster, James Mason, Carol Birchmore, and James Mason all decided the foodbank deserved a cash boost for the number of people it has helped during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Staples-Jones said: “Recognising Trinity Foodbank and the work they have done over the last 12 months is very important to us and we had to celebrate all the work they have done for those less fortunate.

“We want to do all we can to ensure they can carry on doing the work they do, which helps so many people. Everyone who donated did this off their own backs so it’s nice to see that we can come together from across parties, and agree that we have to do important things like this, especially as the demand on foodbanks goes up over winter.”

Tina added: “All the different parties contacted us and told they wanted to donate, so it’s a cross-party matter and that’s great that they came together to do this. They decided to give us some money because they know that at this time of year people really struggle and there are a lot of families in desperate need.

“We have seen a rise in people coming to our door, which happens at this time of year but it’s been exacerbated by Covid and worryingly, there have been more people seeking shelter from domestic violence."