North East Connected

Festive fun on the cards to support North-East hospice

A VARIETY of fun festive activities are on the cards this Christmas to support the work of a vital North-East charity.

Butterwick Hospice Care, based in Stockton, has announced a return to its usual fun-filled Christmas calendar of events after changes to many popular annual traditions last year due to Covid-19.

The unavoidable last-minute changes made to many fundraising events in 2020 and 2021 took a toll on the charity’s income, which fundraisers are working hard to recoup as the world emerges from the shadow of the pandemic.

The festivities kick off with the annual Butterwick Hospice Santa Run on Sunday, December 5 at 10am, as the popular event returns to Hardwick Country Park, near Sedgefield.

A 3.5km route will take runners through the park’s beautiful lakeside and wooded paths, andp participants are encouraged to take the course at their own pace.

Adult participants will get a Santa suit to wear, while children will receive a Santa hat and a hotdog and drink. Entry costs £12.50 for adults, £6 for children, or £30 for a family ticket.

The Butterwick Star Stroll will also take place the same day as the Santa Run. Starting at 11am, this event will let families and younger supporters take part in their own sponsored walk at a slower pace through Hardwick’s scenic parkland.

Christmas outfits are welcome but not required, and participants will all be given their choice of a Santa hat or a pair of star head-boppers. Entry costs £10 per adult and £5 per child, or £25 for families.

Local schools can join in the festive fun by holding their own Rudolph Run. The hospice will provide reindeer antlers and sponsorship forms for every child taking part as they complete a fun run around their school.

Several schools in the area have already signed-up, but there is still time to join in by contacting the Butterwick fundraising team on 01642 628 930.

The Butterwick Christmas Fayres are also back, and this year will feature a sweet surprise. Alongside an assortment of stalls, the charity will also hold an exclusive Butterwick Bake Off contest.

Expect some mouth-watering submissions by some of the region’s best bakers – and yes, the tasty treats will be on sale!

Fayres will take place on Sunday, December 12 at Butterwick Hospice in Stockton, and on Sunday, December 19 at Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland, from 12 noon.

Each Fayre will also be followed by the charity’s annual Light Up a Life ceremony at 4pm – a short but special event which remembers loved ones we have lost by dedicating a star in their memory.

Finally, Butterwick is asking for local for North-East residents who have decorated their houses for Christmas to use their display to raise funds. The hospice will provide a donation tin and posters so that when spectators come to view the display, they can make a donation to the hospice.

For more information or to sign-up for any Butterwick Christmas events, visit

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