Bus drivers from a Hartlepool bus depot have raised £700 for charity by spreading some Christmas cheer as they drove their buses during the run-up to Christmas.
Drivers at local bus operator Stagecoach North East dressed as Santa Claus while on driving duties, bringing a smile to the faces of their passengers and encouraging them to dig deep for their chosen charity. Customers once again showed generosity, with staff collecting for Daisy Chain, a charity for families affected by autism.
The cheque was collected by charity mascot Daisy Bear, Tracey Wright, events manager and Angela Dee, Community Fundraiser. The funds will be used to support the invaluable work that Daisy Chain does, which addresses the needs of children on the autism spectrum and their families with a wide range of support and activity groups for the whole family from the 5.5 acre farm in Stockton.
Bus driver Keith Bagguley said: “The Daisy Chain centre in Norton is a wonderful place, offering much needed support in our local community for families who face the challenges autism brings, 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.”
Joining Keith was bus driver Wendy Fletcher. During their shifts, the drivers handed out festive novelties to help make the journeys for passengers even more jolly.
Katy Carmen, Fundraising and Communications Manager from Daisy Chain, said: “We are overwhelmed by the support from Stagecoach and the bus drivers from the Hartlepool depot. The money raised will make such a difference to the families that we support at Daisy Chain and the impact and awareness raised by the bus drivers over the Christmas period means so much to us.”
Jason Astley, Operations Manager at the Hartlepool depot, said: “We are always happy to support our drivers in their fundraising efforts and would like to commend them again 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 £26,500 for various charities over the festive period, which included a donation for each depot from Stagecoach North East.