PEOPLE who would sacrifice Santa’s beard to avoid sending Christmas cards have been offered the chance to keep a clear conscience and raise money for charity into the bargain.

St Teresa’s Hospice is offering organisations and groups the opportunity to avoid writing hundreds of Christmas cards and instead help swell its depleted coffers.

The Giving in Lieu of Christmas Cards Appeal encourages people to leave a Christmas message to friends and colleagues on a Santa’s beard in return for a donation.

St Teresa’s will supply an A3 Santa poster to display in staff rooms and other communal areas for messages to be written on and a labelled collection box to be placed close by.

“Simply sign Santa’s beard and make a donation,” says chief executive of St Teresa’s Hospice Jane Bradshaw. “You can then forget sending Christmas cards with impunity and sleep safe in the knowledge that Santa will still visit.”

People can also donate and leave a message at www.justgiving.com/campaign/StTsGILOC.

If team members are working from home due to COVID-19, staff can set up a Just Giving page for their organisation. Simply follow the link above, then click ‘start fundraising’, select ‘doing my own thing’ and follow the instructions to create a page.

The link can be shared with colleagues who are working remotely and the donations will be transferred directly to the hospice.

For more information, or to request a pack, contact the Events Team on (01325) 254321 or email events@darlingtonhospice.org.uk.

COVID-19 has devastated fundraising efforts all year, cancelling a host of traditional events that are vital to the survival of St Teresa’s.

The hospice needs to raise £3m a year to provide free day, in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

An emergency appeal launched in March raised more than £100,000 in a matter of weeks and hospice officials are having to turn to the community again for help in difficult times for all. Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/campaign/hugtostts.