ENERGETIC pupils scooted around their schoolgrounds in pursuit of Santa to raise much-needed funds for a popular charity.

More than 200 pupils at Gurney Pease Academy, Darlington, staged a sponsored Santa Run on the playground, the second event in recent weeks in aid of St Teresa’s Hospice.

Every year the hospice needs at least £4m to continue its work to help people with life-limiting illnesses in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire, offering in-patient, day and community services.

The school choir already raised money by singing carols in Queen Street Shopping Centre and the Santa Run is expected to bring to several hundred pounds the amount realised for St Teresa’s.

Gurney Pease Academy deputy head Simon Heritage said: “All the children took part, from our two-year-olds to Years 6s, to raise as much money as possible for a very good cause.”

St Teresa’s Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “We are so grateful for the continued support of pupils and teachers at Gurney Pease. Participation in fundraising for the Hospice is also important in raising awareness of our services and about charities. The school has a really responsible attitude to developing the social conscience of their pupils which is impressive.”