Lancaster and Morecambe schools' fantastic Elf Runs raise thousands of pounds for city hospice

St John's Hospice has been given an early Christmas present in the form of donations from schools across the district.

Teachers, pupils and parents took part in the Lancaster charity’s Elf Run to raise an incredible amount.

Children in schools and nurseries across the area have been donning their elf hats to run, have fun and raise money.

There were 60 schools involved from north Lancashire, the South Lakes and parts of North Yorkshire: the area covered by St John’s Hospice when caring for patients in the hospice and in patients’ homes.

Elf runners included nursery attendees, primary, secondary and Sixth Form students, who all took part in St John’s Hospice’s Elf Run in the lead up to Christmas.

The Elf Run is part of the St John’s Hospice’s wider Nourish programme, which encourages mental and physical well-being in children. The Elf Run invites schools and other groups to set their own date and distance and encourages children to seek sponsorship so they can raise funds for patient care. When the children carry out their run, they get their fabulous elf hats. To see all the runs taking place across the area is a wonderful sight that raises everyone’s Christmas spirits!

At Westgate Primary School, all of the teachers dressed up as elves and parents joined their children in their daily mile around the school field, raising a fantastic £9,200.

Hannah Westworth at Westgate said: “It’s fantastic that the pupils and parents were happy to get fully behind this year's elf run for St John’s. We understand the importance of supporting a local charity that supports the local community and will make this festive Elf Run part of our fundraising year!”

Lisa Morgan, fundraising manager at St John’s Hospice, said: “We love working with schools every winter for the Elf Run. It’s a wonderful opportunity for children of all ages in the community to connect with the work of their local Hospice. They love wearing their hats and getting out in the fresh air!

"So far, these fabulous schools have together raised over £20,000 so far and the money is still coming in! The funds raised will support hospice services such as the Forget Me Not Centre, which provides pre and post bereavement care to families and children. The Elf Run goes from strength to strength every year and it’s all down to the support and enthusiasm of children and schools. Thank you to everyone who took part and sponsored these great runners.”