Festive hospice fundraiser sees 400 don their Santa suits


Spirits were high for the fun event in Spiceball Park, despite the cold wind

Around 400 festive folk donned their Santa suits and ran around Spiceball Park on Sunday morning – all in aid of charity.   After a year’s break due to the pandemic the Katharine House Hospice Santa Fun Run was back, raising vital funds for the Adderbury based charity.

Around 400 people of all ages braved the cold winds to complete either a 1.5 kilometre or 5 kilometre course during Sunday morning.

Trevor Johnson, Katharine House Chief Executive, said: “Everything the people here today do is going to make a difference to the people back at the Hospice and the support we are able to provide.

“It costs us £1.4m [a year] to fund the service.   Demand has never been higher.   We’re on course this year to support more than 2,000 people and their families at a really difficult time.  Whilst that is a huge honour it really does cost a lot of money.

“Events like this are so important.   The community are always fantastic at supporting us – long may that continue.”

Individuals and corporate participants enjoyed the atmosphere in Spiceball Park with the Hospice’s Head of Marketing Karen Welsh dressed as an elf warming up the runners ahead of a 11am start.

First to finish the 1.5 kilometre course was a young runner – Conor Bird from Milcombe, who sprinted around the route.   He was closely followed by another young runner, Drew Toby from Brackley.

A team from Bicester Health Centre were celebrating raising £1,174 as the race got underway.   Amongst them were doctors, a paramedic and dispenser.   Hattie from the Health Centre said: “I thought this would be fun, getting everyone together on a cold December morning!   We’re hoping to complete the 5k route in less than an hour as its so cold.”

Whilst the public event was unable to take place last year the inaugural school’s Santa Fun Run in 2020 proved a huge success.   This year 31 schools have signed up to join in over the coming days.

It is expected that the final total raised for today’s event and the schools’ fund raiser will not be known for a few weeks.

Here are some of our pictures. Click any picture to view a larger version:

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