SANTA is coming to Chelmsford on a special mission to raise £8,000 for the city’s mayor’s charity,

Santa will be appearing at several major stores around Chelmsford over the Christmas period, bringing festive joy to children and raising cash that will be split between Kids Inspire and The Dementia Project, based at Broomfield Hospital.

City councillors have pulled together to fund and construct handmade sleighs, reindeer and wishing wells for their festive fundraising drive.

Four experienced Santas will be bringing the big fella to life, along with a number of elves and helpers mainly drawn from city councillors and volunteers from the two charities, and they are hoping to raise up to £4,000 over the six key appearances.

Santa’s Chelmsford helpers have been promised match funding from a local donor so, with the city behind them, they are on track for a bumper collection, potentially exceeding £8,000.

Parents can take photos of the children in and around the sleigh free of charge and the fundraisers are aiming to provide a magical experience for children with their busy interactive show.

This includes the “Make a Wish” project where kids make a written wish and the most innovative and creative ideas will be selected by mayor Yvonne Spence.

Winners will be invited to the mayor’s parlour for tea and cakes with their parents in the new year.

Here’s where families can find Santa and his helpers in the run-up to Christmas:

December 15 – Morrison’s (Newlands Spring) 10am to 4pm.

December 16 and 17 – High Chelmer, outside Primark. 10am to 4pm.

December 20, 21 and 23 – Sainsbury’s, White Hart Lane, 10am to 4pm.