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13 Dec 2021
Stagecoach Manchester has this December launched fundraising efforts to help raise vital funds for local community charity, Forever Manchester. Drivers, dressed as Santa himself, will be collecting donations on their buses throughout Greater Manchester, asking customers to donate whatever they can, via collection boxes on board.
Forever Manchester helps to help make local communities happier and safer places, as the only charity that works to fund and support community activity across the Greater Manchester region. The money raised by Stagecoach Manchester this Christmas, will be used to fund and support over 1,000 community projects in the region.
Stagecoach Manchester has encouraged staff to participate in its Christmas activity since 2016 and has always received a great response from both customers and employees. Paul Murphy, a driver at the Sharston depot said: ‘I always enjoy dressing up as Father Christmas, it’s something I look forward to every year. It’s great to see some of the puzzled looks we get from unsuspecting customers as they step onto the bus. But, it’s worth it, and it’s a great way to get the community excited for the festivities ahead.’
The Christmas spirit doesn’t stop there, Santa drivers will also be surprising Stagecoach Manchester passengers at random, with gift vouchers, ahead of Christmas day. The spontaneous gifts include vouchers from companies such as Asda, Love2Shop and Costa. The bus routes chosen are picked at random, meaning all passengers across Greater Manchester have a chance of receiving a special gift this Christmas. Some Santa drivers will even belt out a tune or two, to get passengers into the festive spirit on their journey.
Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, Lee Wasnidge, said: ‘As our designated charity partner, we’re thrilled to support Forever Manchester during Christmas, a time that can be difficult for so many. This a great opportunity to help communities across the region, and make a real difference. Offering customers a treat in this fun and festive way, as the vouchers are a great way to brighten up their day, and to say thank you for riding with us this year!.’
Jean Hampson, Philanthropy Development Manager at Forever Manchester, echoed these sentiments saying: ‘Everyone at Forever Manchester would like to say a massive thank you to the team at Stagecoach and their passengers for their Christmas fundraising efforts. We’d especially like to say thanks to the drivers who’ll be putting smiles on people's faces while helping raise much needed funds to support community activity across the city and beyond.’
Alongside this, members of the Stagecoach Manchester team will also be wearing Christmas jumpers every Friday from the 1st December until the 24th, with an aim of collecting even more donations for their charity partner, Forever Manchester.