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Hundreds of Santas dash through Norwich’s Eaton Park to raise thousands for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices

PUBLISHED: 15:51 11 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 December 2016

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2016

It made for a surprising and surreal sight - a blur of red suits and fake beards as hundreds of Father Christmases rushed through a Norwich park.

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

This was a park run with a difference, with runners pounding the pathways while dressed up as Santa Claus - to help raise money for a charity which cares for children and young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

The second Norwich Santa Run, organised by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), saw 400 runners race a 2km course around Eaton Park in aid of the charity.

It was the second time the charity has hosted the event in the city - and Sunday’s event also saw a visit from the actual Father Christmas, who presented a small gift to all the children who took part.

Emma Taylor, EACH Norfolk community fundraiser, said: “EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across East Anglia and supports their families. All the money our Santa’s raised will go towards proving these vital services to local families at a time when they need it most.

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

“We don’t know how much we’ve raised yet, but we hope it will be over £5,000.

“It’s been a brilliant event. It gets people into the Christmas spirit and gets them thinking about the work which we do as a charity. It’s a good time to be giving and we’ll definitely be back next year.

“It’s absolutely incredible seeing all those Father Christmases running through the park. It’s a surreal sight. We had Father Christmas himself handing out the presents to the children and it was hard to find him amid all the runners!”

EACH relies on voluntary donations for the majority of its income and each year needs to raise more than £5m from fundraising and £2.5m from its shops.

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The charity is also currently raising £10m for the nook appeal - a new purpose-built hospice planned for Framingham Earl, near Norwich.

For more information on EACH, which has hospices at Quidenham in Norfolk, Milton in Cambridgeshire and in Ipswich in Suffolk, and to find out how you can support the charity, visit www.each.org.uk

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt The Santa Run organised by East Anglia's Children's Hospices at Eaton Park, Norwich. Picture: Ian Burt

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