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Black Santa Appeal – 198 charities receive funding

Money collected during the Annual Black Santa Christmas Sit–Out for Charities was handed out at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, on Sunday afternoon, February 9.

From left: Cathedral Sexton Jonny Brooks, Dean Stephen Forde, Ruth Cooke of Christian Aid, and Tim McGarry.
From left: Cathedral Sexton Jonny Brooks, Dean Stephen Forde, Ruth Cooke of Christian Aid, and Tim McGarry.

Cheques worth a total of over £170,000 were presented to 198 charities by comedian and actor Tim McGarry at the Good Samaritans’ Service.

This was the forty–third year of Black Santa, which helps out a range of charities across Northern Ireland.

The Dean, the Very Rev Stephen Forde, paid tribute to all those who had given so generously to the Black Santa appeal, and said this year’s giving focused particularly on charities involved in the areas of homelessness, mental health and the refugee community.

Tim McGarry, who handed out the cheques, described himself as a long and true supporter of Black Santa, which he said made him proud to come from Belfast.

The Cathedral Sexton, Jonny Brooks, currently to be seen on television as a contestant on ITV’s The Voice UK, sang Van Morrison’s ‘Sweet Thing’ during the service.