A RUN of kind-hearted acts has given a hospice a boost of thousands of pounds.
Sunderland Stollers raised £5,000 for St Benedict’s Hospice in Ryhope and Sunderland Royal Hospital within the space of just a month.
The running club decided to back the cause as many of its members have been helped by its support, seen family and friends backed by its services and work in the NHS.
Now, they have presented the hospice with the funds, which included more than £1,500 raised through a Turkey Trot from Ashbrooke to The Bridges shopping centre, where runners then sang carols to shoppers in a flash mob-style event.
Tony Allen, who works as a business manager and sales controller for Stratstone Aston Martin across Tyne and Wear, took up the December Challenge, which saw him invite his running and non-running friends to run each day during the month.
He took part and totted up 508miles during the month and for a total of 82 hours, with some runs seeing him joined by other members of the Strollers.
Richard Wilson, one of the group’s leaders, said: “Along the way he encouraged his many Facebook and Twitter followers to contribute to his fund-raising cause.
“Aiming for £500, the response, again from all over the world, was tremendous with more than £2,000 raised.
“St Benedict’s has particular significance for Tony and his family as they cared for his mum prior to her death from cancer in 2012.
Catrina Flynn, the hospice’s fund-raising manager, said: “We would like to thank the Sunderland Strollers for supporting St Benedict’s Hospice.
“They have done so much and indeed they were quite a sight to see at Christmas running through the city dressed as turkeys and holding an impromptu sing song in The Bridges – much to the surprise of shoppers and those working in the centre.
“The support they have given is superb and it will be put to good use in supporting our patients and their families as they live through some really worrying and difficult times.”
In addition to the fund-raising for St Benedict’s, the Strollers Annual Doorstep Marathon was also held in December to raise funds for the Sunderland Royal Hospital’s Phoenix Cancer Unit.