Stagecoach staff raise funds for local charities

Bus drives Graham Thompson with mum Christine,  from SCSG, Catrina Flynn from St Benedict's Hospice, and driver Oz McCormack.

Bus drives Graham Thompson with mum Christine, from SCSG, Catrina Flynn from St Benedict's Hospice, and driver Oz McCormack.

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Staff at Stagecoach North East in Sunderland raised £1,150 for two local charities in their Christmas fundraising campaign.

During December, bus drivers Carol Taylor, Oz McCormack, Gemma Brannen and Graham Thompson from the Sunderland bus depot, donned festive costumes to raise funds for St Benedict’s Hospice and Sunderland Cardiac Support Group (SCSG). To help boost the fundraising, staff handed out gifts including sweets and festive novelties, and John McGrath, Andrew Ballantine and Zoe Onay from the team collected the donations.

Thanks to the generosity from passengers, £981 was collected and the company also contributed, bringing the total to £1,150.

SCSG was formed in 1993 to help people who have suffered some form of heart trauma. Bus driver Graham, 33, from Seaham, has a connection to the group, as his mum,has worked voluntarily for the charity since 1997.

Graham’s mum Christine, now vice-chairman of SCSG said: “Thank you to all of the staff at Stagecoach who took the time and effort to make this possible, and the people who generously donated to support our cause. The money will be used to continue the supportive work of helping people recover and get back to normal.”

Catrina Flynn, the fundraising manager of St Benedict’s Hospice, in Ryhope, said: “We are very grateful to once again be supported by Stagecoach and the drivers from their annual Christmas fundraising.”

Laura Smith, Operations Manager for the Sunderland depot, said: “I’m really proud of our staff for going above and beyond and getting into the Christmas spirit by dressing up as Santa, all in the name of charity.”