Bus driving Santas raise £1,320 for charity during December

01 Feb 2015

A bus driver from at local bus operator in South Shields has raised hundreds for charity by spreading some Christmas cheer as he drove the buses during the run up to Christmas. 

Ken Ramsey, a driver at Stagecoach North East’s South Shields depot dressed as Father Christmas, bringing a smile to the faces of young and elderly passengers alike and encouraging them to dig deep for their chosen charities. This year, passengers showed generosity in their hundreds, with staff collecting £1,320 for St Clare’s Hospice.

61-year old Ken said: “St Clare’s Hospice is a wonderful cause working so hard in our local community and we are very proud to have helped them in this way. We would like to thank our passengers for supporting us and giving as generously as they did on their travels and hope we made their journey a little more fun and festive.”

During his shift Ken handed out gifts such as rock sweets, miniature reindeer and snowman bugs with a Christmas message to help make the journeys for passengers even jollier.

Sonia Graham, Senior Fundraiser at St Clare’s Hospice, said: “We really want to thank Ken Ramsey who donned his Santa Suit from 12th December to support the launch of our ‘Wear a Santa Suit Day’ and also to Stagecoach for supporting his fundraising. All money raised will be used to support patient care here at the Hospice throughout the year.” 

Brian Sleightholme, Operations Manager at the South Shields depot, said: “We are always happy to support our drivers in their fundraising efforts and would like to commend Ken on his dedication to making a difference during the festive period. I’d also like to thank all our passengers and the rest of the depot for giving so generously. Seeing Santa Claus driving the buses puts a smile on everyone’s face and is great fun for all involved.”

Across the six Stagecoach depots, staff raised an impressive £19,315 for various charities over the festive period, which included a donation for each depot from Stagecoach North East.

In addition to the festive Santas charity drive, £100 was raised after the team agreed to not send Christmas cards and instead chose to donate the money to CLIC Sargent.

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