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Christmas Jumpers raise thousands for local hospice

The clicking of needles for novelty jumpers may be last season, but already hardy fundraisers are putting their heads together to boost the coffers of Carlisle’s Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice for the coming year.

While Christmas jumper work has been packed away for now, a new campaign of events is being launched to bring in much-needed funding for the Durdar Road unit.

Silly jumpers at Christmas are one of the mainstays of the hospice’s Festive programme with dozens of schools, nurseries, businesses and local authorities taking part over the past two years to raise more than £7,500.

Natalie Bingham is the Corporate Relationship Co-ordinator at the hospice. She said: “Initially people paid £2 to wear their Christmas jumper. Now this has snowballed into a big Christmas event with lots of different ideas! Christmas themed bake sales, raffles and many businesses often tie it in to their last day of work or their Christmas Party day.

“We have so much support across the city, as I think people like to support local. Cumbria County Council have raised £600 across two years.

“It encourages a bit of banter in the office with people also trying to outdo each other! We also encourage people in our day care unit and at Jigsaw to take part.”

Natalie’s colleague, Sam Johnston’s work as Community and Events Fundraiser at the hospice, means he is also involved in the Christmas Jumper Day with planning starting soon after Halloween.

“It can go a bit quiet after our big Light up a Life event at Carlisle Cathedral in December, so it is good to get people together in mid-December to enjoy the fun of the Christmas jumper event,” he said.

Also, at Christmas is the 5k Santa Dash organised by Sport in Action, Carlisle Tri Club and DH Runners to raise money for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw.

Sam said: “Our fundraising events are a big part of the hospice particularly around Christmas. We have been doing the Santa Dash for the past three years on the second weekend in December with more than 800 people taking part. We made more than £9,000 this year alone”

Major fundraising events in the planning this year include:

Colour Run at Carlisle Racecourse on May 12.

Laps for Loved Ones at Talkin Tarn on July 14.

Morecambe Bay Walk on September 8.

Great North Run half marathon on September 8 in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

London to Paris Cycle Ride starting on September 25 and ending on September 29.

Contact Sam Johnston on 01228 817656, fundraising@edenvalleyhospice.org for information on all these events.

Also, this year the Yomp Mountain Challenge hosted by the Rotary Upper Eden Rotary Club on June 2 will see with proceeds going to Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw Children’s Hospice. Starting a Kirkby Stephen, it involves a range of distances with the Full Yomp totalling 23 miles and a 4,000ft height gain.

Deadline for entries is May 30. For more information contact davetheprince@btinternet.com or go to the website http://www.yomp.org