A former machine shop foreman, who retired 23 years ago, has decided to take part in Princess Alice Hospices' Santa Fun Run.

Gerald, 88, from Whitton, joined the Princess Alice Hospice Walk and Talk group after his wife Margaret died. He has been regularly walking around Richmond Park and Bushy Park for almost a year. Through taking part in the group he was inspired to take part in the fun run by a new friend.

"I got to know Barry, who has been on the walks for a couple of years – and who did the fun run last year,” said Gerald. “I thought ‘why not?’ so I’ve put my name down.”

He said he could not believe how wonderful the care was that Margaret received from the Princess Alice Hospice Community Team towards the end of her life in a local care home.

“It was six-star service – if there is such a thing.” he said.

Gerald and Margaret both worked at the Wilson and Kyle factory in Brentford; Margaret starting at 14 and Gerald at 17. They married in 1958 and moved to a house in Whitton they day they were married, where they raised a family and where Gerald still lives.

Gerald – who was never a great runner but enjoyed running, reckons he will be taking the fun run at a leisurely pace – hopefully a fast walk.

If you would like to join Gerald and other Santas in one of the upcoming fun runs in Richmond Park and Bushy Park, sign up at pah.org.uk/santafunrun or call 01372 461808. The deadline to register closes on November 30. The runs will be taking place on December 1 at Richmond Park and December 9 and 16 on Bushy Park.