KIND-hearted members of the Droitwich community have helped raise a tremendous £8,000 for charity during this year's Santa sleigh ride.

Organisers of the well-loved Christmas tradition are hailing the total as its "best ever", after the sleigh trawled 300 Droitwich streets, often in adverse weather conditions, collecting money.

Hundreds of delighted children and their families opened their doors to fundraisers from the Droitwich Lions Club and Droitwich Rotary Club, who shared the task of transporting Santa around town.

The Lions and Rotarians each raised around £4,000 for charity, making a combined total of approximately £8,000.

Lion president Dave Jepson said: "This is a fantastic sum and is the best ever as far as I can recall. The people of Droitwich have been exceptionally generous once again."

The Lions Club's Santa's Grotto, which welcomed in plenty of visitors during the town's Christmas Lights Switch On, has also contributed to the fantastic final sum.

Bill Phillips, of the Lions Club, said all of the money the club raises will go to local children's charities.

He said: "It has been absolutely incredible this year, our best year yet.

"The kids love it and they all come out. The vast majority of people really enjoy it. They showed their appreciation by their huge generosity.

"One of us knocked on a door, this lady came out and put some notes in the can. When we got the can back she had put £200 in. I counted the can three times because we just couldn't believe it.

"We're guessing that she had given us her winter fuel allowance. We were gobsmacked, it was fabulous.

"I was on one night and it was throwing it down and I was absolutely soaked to the skin, but the reception we get and the amount of money we raise it's worth going out for.

"On behalf of Lions May I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year."

Sandy Laird, of the Droitwich Rotarians, said: "We are absolutely delighted. The generosity of people has just been fantastic. It has been great fun, the children have been wonderful. The parents have been terrific.

"It has been a very good year and people have been exceptionally generous."

He added that the Rotary Club will donate some of the funds it raises to St Richard's Hospice.

Assisting the Lions Club during this year's sleigh ride were volunteers from the Young Firefighters Association, Droitwich Cricket Club, along with many friends and neighbours.