SICK kids have been given a late Christmas present by generous bus drivers.
Stagecoach workers delivered donations of more than £2,000 to St. Benedict’s Hospice and the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR).
Drivers from the company’s Sunderland depot took to their routes dressed as elves, snowmen and Santa Claus throughout December and encouraged passengers to get on board and donate.
People handed over £2,000 to the annual collection, which was boosted by Stagecoach to £2,180.
The cheques were collected from drivers Robert Taylor and Mark Johnston by fundraiser Sylvia Stoneham, of St. Benedict’s Hospice and Andrew Ballantine and Jim Richardson from the NECCR. At the hospice, the funds will be used to care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and support their loved ones.
Sylvia said: “We’re delighted that Stagecoach has once again chosen to support St. Benedict’s Hospice, especially in this, our thirtieth anniversary year.
“The staff commitment to support our work with patients and their families during difficult times and beyond is humbling. Thank you so much.”
Children’s charity the NECCR was founded 35 years ago, by a small group of parents whose lives had been changed forever by childhood cancer.
Over the past three decades, it has helped fund research that has established the North East as one of the world leaders in the research of childhood cancer.
Vice chairman Jim Richardson said: “Research conducted in the North East is improving treatment of childhood cancer and helping more children to beat this terrible disease.
“This is only possible because of the kind support of people and businesses in the region.
“We are incredibly grateful to Stagecoach, the drivers and passengers for giving time and money this Christmas to give children with cancer the treatments that they really need.”
Staff across the six Stagecoach depots in the North East raised an impressive £25,250 for various charities over the festive period.