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Black Santa sit-out charity campaign set to brave winter chill once again


Sit-out: Dean Stephen Forde

Sit-out: Dean Stephen Forde

Sit-out: Dean Stephen Forde

Belfast Cathedral's annual 'Black Santa' sit-out charity campaign will be officially launched on December 16.

The sit-out, first established in 1976 by Dean Sammy Crooks, is now in its 43rd year and helps over 500 charities across Northern Ireland each year.

Black Santa takes place the week before Christmas, when Dean Stephen Forde dresses in the familiar black Anglican clerical cloak outside St Anne's Cathedral.

The charities helped by the sitout range from mental health and homeless charities, medical research, those caring for children, the improvement of employment opportunities, as well as a host of small charities which cannot afford paid fundraisers.

A proportion of the funds is also given to Christian Aid.

Each year, Black Santa receives hundreds of applications for funding. After Christmas, the chosen organisations are invited to send representatives to the Good Samaritans Service, usually held in the following February, where the donated funds are distributed.

Belfast Telegraph