Santas get their running shoes on for Havering-atte-Bower hospice

Runners dressed as Father Christmas raised thousands of pounds for terminally ill patients on Sunday.

Around 400 fundraisers took part in a 5km fun run in Dagenham for the Havering-atte-Bower based St Francis Hospice, and Haven House Children’s Hospice, Woodford Green.

Barking and Dagenham Mayor Tony Ramsay took part in the annual Dagenham Santathon with his son Ben.

He said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We were blessed with really good weather with record numbers participating raising money for St Francis Hospice and Haven House, two very important charities which have an enormous impact on families in Barking and Dagenham and Havering.”

The event was postponed last Christmas because of heavy snowfalls but was eventually held in March 2012.

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Around �10,000 was raised for St Francis Hospice and Leukaemia CARE this spring. It is hoped more will be raised this year for the children’s home in Woodford Green and the Havering hospice.

The fun run started and finished at Dagenham and Redbridge FC, in Victoria Road, Dagenham.

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Paul Gwinn, of the football club said: “This was the best year ever.”

Haven House fundraiser Steve Philcox won in 16min 49secs, while St Francis backer Jenny Ackroyd was the first woman to finish it in 25min 25sec.

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