Santa Dash in aid of Katharine House Hospice attracts the crowds

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124012001
More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124012001

Festive Banburians donned iconic red suits and descended on People’s Park for the Santa Dash and Christmas Trail on Sunday.

More than 250 people helped raise more than £15,000 for Katharine House Hospice at the event, which has raised around £120,000 since it began eight years ago.

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-123959001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-123959001

The money raised will be enough to run the hospice’s inpatient unit on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Santas had a choice of a 3km or 1.5km course around the park and were cheered on by family, friends and volunteers from Katharine House.

Younger children also took part in the Christmas trail, a Santa-themed treasure hunt with chocolate prizes.

This year, the finale of the event saw hundreds of Santas join a procession to Banbury town centre for the Christmas lights switch on.

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124027001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124027001

Chris Higgins, communications officer at the hospice, said: “The Santa Dash is always a fantastic family afternoon out, and the atmosphere on Sunday was brilliant.

“We were so pleased to see so many families coming together to raise money for their local hospice.

“On behalf of everyone at Katharine House, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who came out to take part.”

Two-thirds of Katharine House’s funding comes from local people and businesses, as well as trusts and foundations, so the money raised is vital to help keep the hospice running.

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124041001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124041001

Mr Higgins added: “The hospice cares for about 250 people at any one time – whether that’s in our hospice, out in the community, or in the hospital.

“We’re so fortunate to have so many people who support us time and time again by joining events like the Santa Dash, running marathons, or holding cake sales, and the money raised from the dash will go directly to helping people who are facing life-limiting illness in our community.”

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124053001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124053001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124117001

More than 250 people took part in the Santa Dash in People's Park, Banbury. Pictures by Neil Simmons, Modern Parlance Photography NNL-171128-124117001