SANTA Claus came to town to raise funds for a South Tyneside charity.
Staff and customers at two borough businesses donned Santa suits in aid of St Clare’s Hospice.
Absolute Health and Tanning, in North Road, Boldon Colliery, and the Robin Hood, in Roman Road, Jarrow, got involved in the charity’s Wear A Santa Suit Day.
Workers at Absolute Health and Training raised £126.84 for the charity, based in Primrose Terrace, Jarrow, which provides palliative care to the people of the borough with life-limiting illnesses.
Salon owner Mandie Barnett and beauty therapist Sarah Thompson donned full Santa suits for the day while pampering their customers, and also had some fun at the salon with a raffle, with free treatments up for grabs.
Mandie said: “We were really keen to support St Clare’s Hospice as it’s a local charity providing important care to families at a time of need.
“Our salon is a very relaxed place and we find that our customers often open up about their life, many of whom have had support from the hospice.
“When I heard about Wear a Santa Suit Day I loved the idea, and Fridays in December are always busy days in the salon. Our customers enjoyed the fun day too, having a laugh with us, or even at us.”
Staff and drinkers at the Robin Hood enjoyed a day of festive fun that raised £320 for the charity.
Landlord Norman Scott said: “We had a big box full of Santa suits and elf hats that we sold to raise funds, but some people turned up already in their suits.
“There was a really good turn- out. We had games, raffles and a Christmas singalong, and even the band, the Alan Knight Duo, turned up wearing Santa suits.
“It really got everyone in the Christmas spirit, and the ones that shied away wished they’d taken part.
“We’re going to do it again next year. It was a lot of fun and for a very worthy local cause.”
Sonia Graham, senior fundraiser for the hospice, said: “This is the first year that we have held a Wear a Santa Suit Day and were pleased that people embraced the opportunity to get into the festive spirit while raising vital funds for patient care.”