Washington Running Club’s fifth annual Santa Run was its most successful yet. A fantastic turnout on a bitterly cold but sunny morning saw over 100 Santas and elves joined by two Minions as well as H’Angus the Monkey (returning for his second Santa Run) who collectively raised an amazing £1,250 for local charity Jigsaw.

Initial fears that black ice might mean the run having to be shortened on safety grounds proved unfounded, and a leisurely stroll round Washington took place as planned. Becky Swindells and Keith Tilmouth took charge of the collection buckets during the run, their persuasive personalities enticing members of the public to donate over £300 during the hour’s run alone.

The Sunderland Echo’s photographer captured the grand depart and then met up with the runners at a couple of places during the route. All ages were represented during the run, some younger ones having piggy backs during the latter stages of the 5K, some really young ones enjoying a quiet snooze in their prams.

As planned, the runners were greeted at The Cross Keys pub in Washington village by friends and family, plus a fantastic turnout from Jigsaw who joined the club for the last quarter of a mile to the Westwood Club. The Westwood was once again the venue for our Juniors’ Christmas party, with a tasty buffet, music and party games enjoyed by all, as well as a very successful club raffle.

The £1,250 raised during this year’s Santa Run was the most the club has raised at this event, a fantastic effort by everybody. Special thanks must go to Howden’s in Washington who generously donated £250 directly to our Santa Run fundraising, an amazing gesture and one the Club and Jigsaw are very appreciative of.

The Santa Run would not have been possible without the efforts of club members and their families for donating the raffle prizes, buying raffle tickets and turning out in force to support the day, so a huge thank you to you all. Special thanks must also go to Caroline Morgan for doing an excellent job in organising the buffet and fantastic raffle and Dan Lawson, ably supported by Christine, for their major coordinating roles across the whole event.

Jigsaw is a local charity for autistic children aged 4 to 14 years. The club gives children the opportunity to play and socialise in a safe environment with children who have similar needs, whilst allowing parents/carers the chance to chat. They are based at Ayton Community Centre in Washington.


Click here to read all about it in an article in the Sunderland Echo