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Black Santa prepares for annual sit-out

By Victoria O'Hara

The annual Black Santa charity sit-out will begin outside St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast next week.

Dean Houston McKelvey will join fellow clergy members on the street for the week-long charity collection from Monday.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been raised over the years for good causes through public support and Dean McKelvey is hoping the generosity will continue again this December.

He said: "Once again, help us to bring hope this Christmas by bringing your donation to the Black Santa's barrel, or by sending us your donation.

"If you are able to do so, please make it a Gift Aid - I love taking money from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for these good causes!"

Prior to going on to the street at St Anne's Cathedral with the collecting barrel, Dean McKelvey will present cheques to a number of charities which are associated with seafarers and fisheries.

He said: "Over the past years at the beginning of the sit-out we have highlighted the work of charities and groups working in different areas of our community. One year it was homelessness and another year it was cancer research and care and so on.

"This year we have been conscious of the problems faced by our fishing communities and also the challenge of helping seafarers who visit Belfast and other posts in the North."

The organisations that will benefit include Women in Fisheries, a support group working in Kilkeel, Ardglass and Portavogie, The Fishermen's Mission in Kilkeel and The Mission to Seafarers, which provides facilities in Belfast and other ports in Northern Ireland.

Two other organisations to receive funds are the Jubilee Sailing Trust which caters for physically disabled people and the RNLI.

Donations can be made to the Black Santa sit-out between 9.30am to 5pm next week, including Saturday, and on Monday, December 24.

Belfast Telegraph


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