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Newry’s ‘Black Santa’ John Dalzell gears up for 31st annual Christmas Hospice Sit-Out

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in Newry without the sight on John Dalzell and his famous fundraising cart in aid of the Southern Area Hospice – a tradition stretching back to 1991.

John, who will turn 81 this month, is gearing up to continue his annual fundraising stint for the 31st year.

The torch-bearing fundraiser will dedicate two weeks to sitting out and raising vital funds for the Southern Area Hospice from December 10 to Christmas Eve this year.

Back in 2016, John said it would be his last year completing the Sit-Out as he was not as “able” as he used to be. Now six years later, and at having surpassed £2million raised, the 80 year old shows no signs of packing up his famous fundraising cart.

In 2020, the Bessbrook man added OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – after being recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Speaking at the time, ‘Black Santa’ as he has been affectionally dubbed, said: “I know I’m not as young as I used to be, but who is? So, I have decided that while I am fit enough to continue with my work for the Hospice that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

John is now providing a contactless card payment option. Why not pop down and visit John this Christmas or, alternatively you can donate by clicking here.

As well as John’s Sit-Out on his usual Hill Street location, collections will take place around the city at Fiveways Shopping Complex, The Quays Shopping Centre and B&Q, so please keep an eye out and donate what you can.

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