LEIGH Leopards gave a huge boost to the local Rotary club's Christmas fundraising collection last month.

Continuing the popular festive tradition in Leigh and Lowton, Father Christmas drove his sleigh to various points across the borough.

Aiming to get children and families in the festive spirit, volunteers ask for donations so they can continue to bring Santa to the area and organise their community-focused events all year round.

Over the years, money raised at Rotary events has been distributed to help local causes such as The Bridge Community Kitchen, Atherton and Leigh Foodbank, Willow Project, Abbey Fields, Derian House, and many more.

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Leigh Journal: Donating selection boxes to Atherton & Leigh FoodbankDonating selection boxes to Atherton & Leigh Foodbank (Image: Leigh Rotary Club)

During the latest round of festive fundraising, the newly-branded Leigh Leopards contributed a huge £5000 to the community group's collection.

With players also coming to surprise fans on one of Santa's trips, the team's generous donation took the overall tally to almost £14,000.

Leigh Rotary’s President Andre Winstanley said, ”We were so pleased with our main aim, to give such pleasure to children and parents at Christmas.

“We can hardly believe the incredible generosity of the local community who contributed so much, despite the poor economic climate.

Many children saved their change through the year and we were given several boxes full of coins, whilst others stopped their cars to hand over notes. 

“Our collection was boosted by an incredible £5000 donation via Leigh Leopards’ Rugby team!

"Players also helped with our collection on one evening, giving an extra thrill to many of their fans who were surprised to see players knocking on their doors!"

Mr Winstanley also thanked local supermarkets for allowing collections outside their store, as well as Waterfields Bakery for storing Santa's Sleigh.

"But most of all", Mr Winstanley said, "thanks to the wonderful people of Leigh & Lowton.”