St Luke's annual Santa Dash brings positive outlook for 2020
PUBLISHED: 14:32 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 18 December 2019
Kenton charity supporters looked like a merry lot in their Santa suits as they raced across Pinner to raise money.
Long-time St Luke's Hospice supporter Angela Egan and a group of her friends known as "Away With The Fairies" dashed three miles around Pinner for the charity's annual Santa Dash on December 8.
To date, the team has raised more than £25,000 for the hospice and hope to raise another £5,000 from the race.
Speaking on the day, Angela said: "We've all been touched by the hospice and we're happy to fundraise as it's close to all of our hearts. We've all lost someone who's been cared for by St Luke's. This year, we're hoping to bring our fundraising total to £30,000."
Tim Ridgewell, St Luke's events and community manager, said: "We are extremely thankful to Angela for her continued support of St Luke's.
"We rely on the kind support of the local community and we are indebted to each member of the Away With The Fairies team for their ongoing fundraising over the past ten years.
"It is through support like theirs that we are able to continue to provide free end of life care in Harrow and Brent."
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More than 300 Santa's took part in annual dash. Friends, families and even a few dogs donned their Santa suits for the race.
All participants received a santa suit to run in, as well as a medal and a mince pie on completion of the course.
Earlier this year charity staff announced budget cuts and called on the local community to help.
Following two years in a row with "a staggering £1million shortfall in funds in each year", hospice chiefs now say that the outlook has "significantly improved thanks to savings and small increases in income from a range of sources".
Director of fundraising Rachel Wagstaff said: "The local community has been amazing, everyone is stepping up and giving a little bit more.
"Local faith groups and other community organisations are all giving what they can and hundreds more people are playing our weekly lottery or giving in other ways. People value our care and once they find out we are struggling, everyone wants to help."
"Although it has been a difficult year, we are hopeful that the measures we have taken look like they may be enough to protect core services.
"Our hope now is that the future of free end of life care for local people will become even more secure with continued community support."