Christmas has come at the height of summer for two much-loved good causes.
Cheques totalling £13,255 have been presented to Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust charity Brighter Futures and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The money marks the success of the first ever Santa vs Rudolph Run in December of last year.
About 1,000 people came together to take on the 3, 5 or 10k run – and all donned in their best Christmas outfits.
The event, organised by The Rotary Club of Swindon Phoenix and Brighter Futures, saw the funds split between the two charities, with Brighter Futures being presented with just over £10,000 of the total raised.
The funds will be used to improve the hospital environment, fund groundbreaking research, support the development and training of hospital staff and provide state-of-the-art equipment.
Eight months after the run, representatives of the charities came together in a virtual meeting to be presented with the cheques – and to start the planning for the next Santa vs Rudolph Run.
Michelle Leighton, Community and Events Manager for Brighter Futures, said: “We are thrilled to have received such a fantastic amount of money, and want to thank everybody who took part in the run last year.
“Our thanks also extend to the representatives of The Rotary Club of Swindon Phoenix and The Wiltshire Air Ambulance who joined us today for the cheque presentation – even if we did have to catch up virtually this year.
“We are now in the thick of planning for the next Santa vs Rudolph run but expect that it will look very different from last year, due to the restrictions around gatherings and the importance of social distancing.
“We hope to see just as many, if not more, of you take part this year and are planning for the event to be carried out in the safest way possible. This will probably mean that families will need to take part in the run virtually, but we will share more details when we have them.”
Patrick O’Farrell, President of The Rotary Club of Swindon Phoenix in 2019, said: “It was great to work with Brighter Futures on the Santa vs Rudolph Run, and meant we could build on the collaboration between us and the team following the success of the Radiotherapy Appeal.
“Working together has meant we have raised even more money, and I’m so pleased that we could use each other’s strengths for the greater good.
“Thank you to everyone who took part – your hard work will mean that we can continue to support the people of Swindon and the wider community.”
More information about taking part in fundraising for Brighter Futures can be found at https://www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk/