Charity Christmas float to tour north Bristol

A Christmas float that has been raising money for charity for over 30 years will once again be touring the streets of north Bristol this month and in December, thanks to a son’s determination to carry on his father’s good work.

Stefan Payne, 30, of Olverston, has taken over the construction and running of the Southmead Hospital Charity float from his father, Roger, who started it along with his friend Paul Wills back in the late ‘70s.  Now, Stefan and a group of friends decorate the float and take it out to raise money in their spare time.

“I took the float over when I was 17.” Explains Stefan.  “It was going to be cancelled and I thought that was such a shame so with the help of my friends I’ve managed to keep it going.

“This year we’ve rebuilt the float to have a fresh Christmas theme, along with a new sound system and new lighting so it will be even better and brighter than before!” adds Stefan. “I’m grateful to everyone who volunteers to help prepare the float throughout the year, and who help on the evenings when we’re out and about with it.”

Over the years the float has raised over £200,000 and this year’s collection will be for Southmead Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) where Stefan works as an Emergency Care Assistant. 

Last year the float came close to having to stop as the group desperately needed a tractor and driver.  But after a successful appeal, local company Equine Paddock Maintenance came forward and now donates the use of a tractor and driver along with free storage for the float throughout the year.

Here’s where you can see the float this year:

  • Friday 25th November - Frenchay & Stapleton
  • Saturday 26th November - Emersons Green
  • Friday 2nd December - Downend
  • Saturday 3rd December - Stoke Gifford
  • Friday 9th December - Bradley Stoke
  • Saturday 10th December - Southmead inc Southmead Hospital
  • Friday 16th December - Yate
  • Saturday 17th December – Pilning / Severn Beach area


If you’d like to volunteer to help with the float, you can contact Stefan Payne on: 07837 207 572 or email via – or get in contact via Facebook – The Float Group

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