Over £70,000 has been raised for local charity Phyllis Tuckwell, by schools in West Surrey and North-East Hampshire – as well as two children in Bermuda! The money was raised through Phyllis Tuckwell’s Reindeer and Elf Runs, which take place every year in the run-up to Christmas. In total, around 8,500 children from 41 different schools took part, wearing either reindeer antlers or an elf hat and ears, and running laps of their school playground or playing field. The children all loved taking part, and not even emigrating to Bermuda would stop Annabelle and Austin from joining in! They didn’t want to miss out on their school’s Reindeer Run, so donned their antlers and did the run on a beach in their new home!

All of the money raised by the Runs will go directly towards helping fund the supportive and end of life care which Phyllis Tuckwell provides for patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer. Every day it cares for over 250 patients, relatives and carers – in their own homes or care homes, at the Hospice in Farnham and at the Beacon Centre in Guildford – but as the NHS/Government usually only covers about 20% of its costs, it has to raise over £25,000 a day to do this.

Before each school held its Run, a member of Phyllis Tuckwell’s Fundraising team attended an assembly there, to give a presentation to the staff and children about how the money they raised would help Phyllis Tuckwell and the people it cares for. On the day of the Run, a member of staff from Phyllis Tuckwell returned to cheer the children on, dressed festively as a reindeer, elf, snowman or even a Christmas pudding!

Phyllis Tuckwell is mindful of its impact on the environment and encouraged schools who had taken part in the Runs before to re-use antlers and elf hats which it had provided for them in previous years, or bring in their own festive headwear, through its ‘Bring your own from home’ initiative.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to all the pupils who took part in the Reindeer and Elf Runs, the teachers who arranged and organised the Runs, and everyone who sponsored the children,” said Charli Quay-Barnham, Community Fundraising Manger at Phyllis Tuckwell. “£70,000 is an absolutely amazing amount of money, and could pay for two of our In-Patient Unit nurses for over nine months. These nurses each care for up to five patients and offer emotional support to their families too.”

If you would like to find out more about raising money for Phyllis Tuckwell, please visit www.pth.org.uk/support-us/fundraising