Santa runners step out to raise Dorothy House cash

This Is Wiltshire: The Santa-suited runners set off on the run The Santa-suited runners set off on the run

Winsley played host to the annual Dorothy House Santa’s Dash on Sunday as festive runners took part to raise money for the hospice.

Around 144 runners donned their Santa suits and, after a quick warm up, set out on the course through the countryside surrounding the hospice.

The fundraiser kick starts the hospice’s December festivities and now in its third year it is attracting more runners, up on the 120 people who took part last year.

Family and friends of Thomas Fairfield, who died last November following a three-year battle with cancer, ran in his memory again this year.

Mr Fairfield, who was 32 when he died, benefitted from the Dorothy House Hospice at Home team.

His mother, Hilary, of Dilton Marsh, said: “They were so professional and so lovely and caring. When they arrived it was wonderful to be able to have a break, confident that Tom was getting the best care.

“This year we had a photo of Tom printed onto our Santa outfits so he was with us all the way. We were talking about him on the way round and saying he would have loved to have seen it.”

The all terrain course, which took runners through Murhill, along the canal to Avoncliff before climbing back up to Winsley, was lined with marshals offering encouragement.

Jen Steele, communications manager for Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “The event was a brilliant success and it was quite a spectacle to see over a hundred Santa’s snaking along the canal and through the fields of Winsley.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to all those that put themselves through a tough challenge for our patients and their families. A big thank you to all those that kindly marshalled the event too, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

The event raised £14,000 last year and this year is expected to raise over £15,000 for Dorothy House Hospice Care.

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