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Black Santa gives cash to charities

By Lisa Smyth

Charities that help homeless people in Northern Ireland are among the groups that have benefited from the annual Belfast Cathedral Black Santa sit-out.

Grants worth more than £220,000 were handed out to charities working locally with the homeless, refugees and people with disabilities, as well as to health charities, at the annual Good Samaritans Service at St Anne's Cathedral yesterday.

Two of the largest grants were to organisations working with the homeless and street sleepers - the Simon Community and the SoS Bus were each awarded £5,000.

The Dean of Belfast, the Very Rev John Mann, who completed his sixth sit-out in December, said the service was one of the most comprehensive gatherings in Northern Ireland of charities.

"It is a celebration of much that is good and praiseworthy in our community, and an opportunity to thank those who turn money into action and goodwill into improving the lives of others," he said.

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