A Christmas float that has been raising money for us for over 30 years will once again be touring the streets of north Bristol this month, 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, each year, 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.
“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.
“My Dad was from Frenchay and originally the float collected money for Frenchay Hospital. Now, the money goes towards Southmead Hospital. I work in the Emergency Department there and want our collection to support the amazing work that I see happening there every day.”
Local company Equine Paddock Maintenance has helped ensure the float’s continued existence as it now donates 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, from around 6pm:
Friday 30 November
Emersons Green, Lyde Green
Saturday 1 December
Frenchay, Stapleton, Cheswick Village
Friday 7 December
Pilning, Severn Beach
Saturday 8 December
Friday 14 December
Saturday 15 December
Friday 21 December
Southmead, inc Southmead Hospital
Saturday 22 December
Frenchay, Malmains, Riverwood, Woodlands Rise
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