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Bus driving Santas raise £1,560 for charity during December

01 Feb 2015

Bus drivers from Sunderland have raised hundreds for charity by spreading some Christmas cheer as they drove their buses during the run up to Christmas. 

Drivers Michael Chapman and Ian Horner and the rest of the team at local bus operator Stagecoach North East, dressed as Father Christmas and Scrooge, bringing a smile to the faces of young and old passengers alike and encouraging them to dig deep for their chosen charities. This year passengers showed generosity in their hundreds, donating £1,560, which has been shared between Sunderland charities St Benedict’s Hospice and Dog A.I.D.

Bus driver Michael Chapman said: “St. Benedict’s Hospice and Dog A.I.D. are both wonderful causes 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 their shifts a further 11 bus drivers from the company’s Sunderland depot 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.

Catrina Flynn, Fundraising Manager for St Benedict’s Hospice, said: “On behalf of all the patients, families and staff at St Benedict’s Hospice I would just like to thank everyone at Stagecoach NE who took part in the Christmas fundraising.  We are so, so grateful to them for really entering into the spirit of the whole thing and of course thank you to all the passengers who contributed so generously.  St Benedict’s Hospice Charity relies heavily on the support of individuals, groups and businesses in the local community to raise funds that enable us to offer direct support and care to our patients and their families so the money raised is most welcome.”

Lynn Stacey, 48, from Hetton, who fundraises for Dog A.I.D., said: “All of the drivers have done a great job bringing cheer to all the passengers and encouraging them to dig deep. We are so grateful to all the drivers and staff involved in the fundraising efforts and would like to say a big thank you to all the passengers for their generosity.”

Laura Smith, Operations Manager at the Sunderland depot said: “We are always happy to support our drivers in their fundraising efforts and would like to commend them on their 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.

For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit our About us page.