Runners invited to support new festive initiative

Help The Animals at Christmas

UK’s biggest festive fun run to feature in TV telethon

Santa Dash 2018 Logo

The 15th annual BTR Liverpool Santa Dash has been named as the official fundraising event partner in a new national festive campaign.

National television station Channel 5 has today (Thursday 8 November) announced details of Britain’s very first fundraising event for animal charities.

Help The Animals at Christmas will be raising awareness and funds for five incredible UK animal charities – to help the animals that can’t help themselves.

The campaign will be showcasing the work of RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, Blue Cross, The Donkey Sanctuary and Wildlife Aid Foundation.


Help The Animals at Christmas will culminate with a new live show on Friday 21 December, broadcast live on Channel 5 from Salford’s Media City.

Presenters already confirmed for the live show are comedienne Susan Calman, and television personalities Gabby Roslin, John Thomson and Michael Underwood. Jeremy Vine’s Storm Huntley will also be on hand to manage the live social media hub.

The show will feature special episodes of Channel 5 favourites, which have teamed up with one of the five charities to highlight their amazing work, they are Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild, The Yorkshire Vet, The Dog Rescuers with the cast of Neighbours, and Jo Brand’s Kitten Rescue.

The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash on Sunday 2 December has been specially chosen by Channel 5’s Help The Animals at Christmas campaign as its official fundraising event partner.

Santas taking part in the UK’s biggest festive fun run are invited to support the campaign and five animal and welfare charities by raising cash while they dash.

The festive spectacular is highly regarded as Liverpool’s kick-start to Christmas, with up to 10,000 red, blue and mini Santas taking part.

Special guests and Channel 5 film crews will be present on the day to join in the Santa Dash fun, and footage will be broadcast as part of the special programme.

Santas will gather on the start line at Pier Head Liverpool, part of the city’s iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the fun run starting at 9.30am. The route takes Santas through the city centre, before crossing the finish line outside Liverpool Town Hall on Dale Street where they will be greeted by festive characters and ‘real’ snow.

This will be followed by the 1K Mini Dash for under 12s. It starts in Castle Street at approximately 11am after all participants in the main Santa Dash have completed the course. Mini Santas will also enjoy the same festive finish line at Liverpool Town Hall.

First staged in 2004, the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash was created by BTR Liverpool Race Director Alan Rothwell.

The event has since continued to grow in popularity. Three years later, the festive fun run was expanded to include the 1K Mini Dash for under 12s, followed by the introduction of blue Santa suits in 2010by public demand.

For the first time in the event’s 15-year history, there is a virtual run option for anyone who would like to take part but cannot be there in person on the day. Virtual run entries will be sent their race pack, Santa suit and medal.

Virtual runners are invited to send their pictures to and they will be added to the Santa Dash virtual gallery. Some of the best pictures will be shown on Channel 5 during the special TV show.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented: “We are incredibly thrilled and honoured to be the official fundraising event partner for Channel 5’s Help The Animals at Christmas charity campaign.

“Christmas is ultimately a time for family and friends, but as a nation of animal lovers we have a duty to support those who cannot ask for help themselves. The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash is a real highlight of the festive season and I encourage all our Santas to Help The Animals this Christmas. You can even join in the fun wherever you are in the world with a virtual run in your Santa suit, don’t miss out.”

Ben Frow, Director of Programming at Channel 5, added: “Christmas should be a happy time for all, including those who don’t have a voice – animals. We’re excited to be working with the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash – the UK’s biggest festive fun run – to help raise awareness and much-needed funds for our five official charities. Dash, have lots of fun, and raise cash for Help The Animals at Christmas.”

Fundraising packs are available direct from Help The Animals at Christmas by visiting

If you’re already taking part in the Santa Dash and would like to support Help The Animals at Christmas then you can start your own fundraising page by visiting the official site at

The Santa Dash registration fee includes a Santa suit and commemorative finishers’ medal. The entry fee covers all costs to organise and deliver the event, including road closures.

Santa Dash registration and suit collection are available seven days a week until Saturday 1 December from the pop-up at St Johns Shopping Centre in Liverpool.

Further announcements about this year’s BTR Liverpool Santa Dash will made in the coming weeks.

The media partner the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash 2018 is Radio City.


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