Bus drivers across the Tees Valley spread festive fun as they drove during their annual charity campaign in the run up to Christmas.
During December, drivers from local bus operator Stagecoach North East swapped their uniforms for festive costumes, bringing a smile to the faces of young and old passengers alike and encouraging them to dig deep for their chosen charities.
To bring seasonal cheer, staff handed out festive treats and customers once again showed their generosity, with £500 collected on board by Hartlepool drivers for Cancer Research UK, whilst drivers at Stagecoach’s Teesside depot in Stockton raised £700 for Great North Air Ambulance.
Cancer Research carry out pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. Over the past 40 years survival has doubled, thanks to the great progress research has made.
Jan Leafe, Local Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “We are very grateful to Stagecoach in Hartlepool and their customers for their fundraising efforts. Thanks to the generosity of the public, Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of progress that has seen cancer survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
“In the North East, cancer death rates have decreased by 10 per cent in the past 10 years, but there is still so much to be done. The Cancer Research UK Centre in the North East is a network of doctors, scientists and nurses working together to find better ways to detect and treat cancer. Together we will beat cancer."
Great North Air Ambulance provide air ambulance services across the North East, Cumbria and North Yorkshire. Entirely funded by charity, they are able to save lives and ease suffering across the region.
Mandy Drake, Head of Fundraising at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in this fundraiser, from the Stagecoach staff to the passengers. We are completely reliant on public donations, and these funds will help us continue to deliver world-class pre-hospital care to the people in our region.”
Steve Walker, Managing Director for Stagecoach North East, said: "Our staff have once again raised a fantastic amount and have gone above and beyond by thoroughly getting into the Christmas spirit, all in the name of charity. Special thanks go to our passengers who kindly donated to the charities on board the buses, which will help to further boost the fantastic support provided by these wonderful charities."
Across the six Stagecoach depots, staff raised an impressive £20,000 for various charities over the festive period, which included a donation for each depot from Stagecoach North East.