FEATHERS were flying as scores of turkeys took to the starting line for a charity trot.
More than 120 people donned their costumes to take part in Sunderland’s first Turkey Trot to raise funds for St Benedict’s Hospice.
The 2km family run, held at Nissan Sports and Social Club, proved to be a big hit with adults and children alike.
St Benedict’s fund-raiser Sylvia Stoneham came up with the idea for the event, which it is hoped will raise thousands of pounds for the Newcastle Road hospice.
She said: “A lot of charities do sponsored Santa runs, so I just thought this was something a bit different.
“I have been delighted the way people have taken to the theme and all the turkeys looked fantastic.
“It was certainly a lot more fun than just a sponsored walk.”
Everyone who took part paid £20 to enrol and for that they got to keep their turkey costume, which the hospice bought in bulk from China.
Sylvia said: “We might see them out and about again over Christmas. There is a group of people going to go out to lunch in them and one woman said she is going to wear hers on Christmas Day to cook the dinner.”
Lots of children took part in the event, many making their own costumes with cut-and-colour turkey masks and washing-up gloves for feet.
Among them were five-year-old Luke Campbell, his brother, Alfie, four, and their mum, Rebecca, 30 from Fulwell.
Rebecca said: “We thought it was a really fun way of introducing the kids to the idea of helping others, especially around Christmas.
“They had a lot of fun making their costumes as well.”
Luke said: “I feel a bit sad because of the people who are poorly, but I feel good about the run.”
Teenagers Kate Hamilton and Catherine Taylor, both 15-year-old pupils at St Anthony’s RC School, also took part in the trot.
Catherine said: “We just saw the posters and thought it would be good fun and decided to register.”
The girls also roped in Kate’s mum, care worker Jackie Taylor, 43, from Chapelgarth.
Jackie, who lost her dad, Alan Nelson, to cancer aged 72, said he had been cared for a few times in the hospice and it is the most fantastic charity to support.
She said: “We have had a few family members spend time there and each time the staff have been fabulous. The support and care is amazing.”