THE inspirational founder of a North-East hospice has been fondly remembered by her great-grandchildren during a festive fun event at their school.

Emilia and Edward Holder were among 120 pupils at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School, located in Long Newton, near Stockton, who took part in this year’s Rudolph Run in aid of Butterwick Hospice Care.

The hospice was founded by the children’s “great-nanna”, Mary Butterwick, who died, aged 91, in 2015.

The pupils, wearing reindeer masks, remained safe in their ‘bubbles’ during the event at the school, which is part of Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Learning Trust.

Headteacher Emma Robertson with Emilia and Edward Holder

Headteacher Emma Robertson said: “We do something for Butterwick Hospice every year, and it’s really important for our children to have an understanding of the world in which we live and support the work of this incredible charity.

“The Butterwick is such an important part of our local community, and we want to help the charity make a difference as well as have some fun in the run up to Christmas.”

The little reindeers taking part ranged from three-year-olds up to 11 years old, with parents making donations to the charity, and more than £230 was raised.

The youngest runners to take part in the Rudolph Run were just three-years-old

Emilia, 10, said: “I think it’s amazing how we can still fundraise even with Covid-19 going on. The hospice needs it a lot more now than ever because they can’t do a lot of the fundraising that they’d usually be doing.

“It’s really, really good that our school is helping because they are just amazing people here. They’re all my friends, and they’ve just got my back.

“Our great-nanna was absolutely a really, really great person. She died when I was only five and I miss her a lot, but it’s great that the Butterwick is still going, and I think their work is absolutely incredible.”

Edward, 6, added: “We had a lot of fun being reindeers.”

Edward Holder ran in memory of his great-nanna Mary Butterwick

Butterwick Hospice chief executive Debbie Jones said: “It’s always lovely to see children taking part in the annual Rudolph Run and especially nice that Emilia and Edward were able to remember Mary in such a special way.”

  • Butterwick Hospice provides any schools wishing to stage a Rudolph Run with a reindeer pack, including a mask to colour in, sponsorship form, and reindeer glitter to sprinkle on their lawn on Christmas Eve. Call (01642) 628930 or email