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Santa Joggers and super sweaters raise cash for kids at Christmas

05 Jan 2022 11:53:19
Santa Jog Sarah Sanders

The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity is one step closer to funding the refurbishment of the Children’s Ward outdoor play area thanks to a bumper month of festive fundraising.

The countdown to Christmas officially began on 3 December 2021 when the charity invited colleagues at The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to attend a Christmas Grotto, held in the new staff Wellbeing garden at Rotherham Hospital. 

The outdoor event was filled with cakes and crafts, Christmas cards and raffle tickets were sold and youngsters from Busy Bees Nursery sang carols. Entrants in a Bake Off style competition fought for the ‘Star Baker’ crown, which was won by Sarah Hides, a Senior Staff Nurse on the Children’s Ward, who made a scrumptious chocolate orange cake. The event raised £2,378.93.

The charity challenged individuals, schools, community groups and work colleagues to don their red and white hats and trainers to jingle all the way through its first Virtual 5K Santa Jog between 6 and 12 December 2021. 

The week-long event raised £855 and saw school children jogging around playgrounds, sports stars from Rotherham United Football Club participating during training and Trust colleagues walking, jogging, running or swimming their challenge. Former FIFA and Premier League referee Howard Webb MBE took part and Non-Exec Director Michael Smith completed his challenge with a little help from horse Dexter!

On Friday 10 December, the charity encouraged everyone to swap their school uniforms, work suits and stay-at-home joggers for their seasonal fancy dress for Christmas Jumper Day. Fundraises wearing their super sweaters included Busy Bees Nursery and the team at Balfour Beatty, amongst others. They raised £646.50. 

Suzanne Rutter, Charity Engagement and Development Manager, said: “December is a magical time of year and our biggest Christmas wish was to see people spreading the festive cheer by taking part in our Christmas Grotto, Virtual Santa Jog and Christmas Jumper Day. Fundraisers rose to the challenge and it has been wonderful to see everyone take part.

“We know that with gifts to buy and dinners with all the trimmings to plan, December can be an expensive time. It has been humbling to see so many donations for our Christmas appeal – thank you to everyone who took part or sponsored someone. Your donations will really make a difference to the children we care for at Rotherham Hospital.”

The charity’s Christmas appeal has raised a magnificent £6486.23 in total during December. Donations have flooded in, including from medical recruitment firm Holt Doctors, which hosted a ‘12 Charities of Christmas’ competition. Donors were invited to vote for their favourite NHS charity by donating £2 via Just Giving. The Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity came second on the leader board and received £500 from the firm, including all the generous donations made online. 

Unison Rotherham Health donated £500 to the Christmas appeal and the generous team at Veolia contributed a £300 Smyths toy shop gift voucher to top the charity’s Christmas raffle prize list. 

There were toy donations galore for our Children’s Ward, Children’s Outpatients and Urgent and Emergency Care Centre thanks to Shannon Best, Sieera Ismail, the Rotherham Riders Club, the Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy, St Bernard’s Catholic High School.  

All the money raised for the charity’s Christmas appeal will help to fund the refurbishment of the Children’s Ward outdoor play area. The charity hopes to revamp the space into a fun, relaxing and creative area for children of all ages, providing a much needed place for respite.

For more information about how you can support the charity in 2022, get in touch by calling 01709 426821 or emailing trft.charity@nhs.net 

Photo caption: Our top Santa Jog 2021 fundraiser was Sarah Sanders, of Whiston, Rotherham, who raised £235.