Staff at local bus operator Stagecoach North East in Newcastle are spreading some late festive cheer after raising over £9,000 for three north east charities in their annual Christmas fundraising campaign.
During December, bus drivers and staff at the Walkergate bus depot swapped their uniforms for festive costumes in a bid to raise funds for local charities Tiny Lives, Children North East and Caring for Kian. To help boost the collections, staff handed out gifts including sweets and festive novelties, and smashed last year’s total of £6,900.
Thanks to the incredible generosity from passengers, £7,840 was collected on board throughout December, with the people of Newcastle digging deep into their pockets and donating to causes which are well-known and loved across the region. The company contributed a further £1260 to bring the total to £9,100.
Cheques for over £3,000 each were collected by the charities and the monies raised will be used to further support the great work being done for poorly and disadvantaged youngsters in the north east.
The charity Caring for Kian was set up for two-year old Kian Musgrove to help raise funds in his fight against cancer. Kian was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in October 2013 and since then has been receiving treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Devastatingly for the family, Kian suffered a recent relapse, for which further treatment cannot be offered in the UK, and the family is now building up a fund of £550,000 for pioneering treatment in the United States.
Kat Musgrove, mother of Kian, said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Stagecoach for their amazing, kind, caring support; it really means the world and more to us. Kian is currently undergoing chemotherapy and after a period of recovery, there is a high chance that we will be going to the US for further treatment, providing we have enough money. But the longer Kian waits, the less chance he has of surviving, as the cancer is so aggressive, so we need all the help we can.”
If you would like to help raise funds for Caring for Kian, please visit http://www.kapipal.com/caringforkian. For updates, please follow ‘Caring for Kian’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.
Children North East works with children, young people and their parents who are living in poverty or whose lives are disadvantaged because of family misfortune.
Carol Taylor, Senior Fundraiser at Children North East, said: “This is such fantastic news and only strengthens our belief in the north east being such a warm and generous community. In the early days our founders fought against inequality and poverty, offering children hope and a better future. Despite all the years in between we are still working for the same outcomes and with the help and support received from Stagecoach at Walkergate and their passengers we really can and do make a difference. Thank you to everyone who has given so generously.”
The Tiny Lives Trust helps to care for premature and sick new-born babies and their parents in the Special Care Baby Unit of the Newcastle Neonatal Service based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. Founded in 1891, the charity is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
Carol Meredith, Head of Tiny Lives: said: “The staff at Stagecoach make a lot of families very happy when they dress up in their Christmas outfits to fundraise for Tiny Lives. They enter into the festive spirit every Christmas – and have done for many years now – and their fundraising helps so many local families at a very difficult time. We can’t thank them enough for their wonderful energy, enthusiasm, and long-term support for Tiny Lives and our work with premature babies and their families.”
David Wakefield, Operations Manager for the Walkergate depot, said: “I’m really proud of our staff for going above and beyond and getting into the Christmas spirit by dressing up as Santa, all in the name of charity. They’ve raised a fantastic amount, which will make a big difference to Tiny Lives, Children North East and Caring for Kian. Special thanks go to our passengers who kindly donated to the charities onboard the buses. A large proportion of our staff get involved in charity, fundraising and community work throughout the year and we look forward to a successful 2016.”
Across the six Stagecoach depots, staff raised an impressive £16,000 for various charities over the festive period, which included a donation for each depot from Stagecoach North East.
For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com