Taxi driver Darren is dedicated to the Claus

TAXI FOR SANTA ... Darren Murphy as Father Christmas to boost the coffers of St Clare's Hospice.
TAXI FOR SANTA ... Darren Murphy as Father Christmas to boost the coffers of St Clare's Hospice.

A BIG-HEARTED taxi driver was fuelled by festive spirit as he got on the road to boost a vital charity cause.

Dad-of-two Darren Murphy donned a Santa suit during his shifts for Richmond Taxis in the run up to Christmas, to raise funds for St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow.

He was eager to swell the coffers of the Primrose Terrace Hospice to thank staff for the support they gave to his father, during his battle with cancer.

Mr Murphy’s father, Thomas, died at the age of 62 in January, but his family are grateful for the hard work and dedication of the St Clare’s team during his stay.

Not content with asking for extra yuletide tips from passengers in his festive cab, Mr Murphy, 31, who lives in Jarrow, with partner Cheryl Mitchell, 32, also decided that Santa should make house calls.

He advertised on Facebook to come along to friends’ homes dressed as Father Christmas, to wow their children.

Mr Murphy said: “It all went really well. Through the taxi shifts and doing house calls, I raised £80 for St Clare’s Hospice.

“A lot of the customers got a big surprise when they got in the taxi and saw Santa behind the wheel. The children really loved it.”

For more information on the hospice, visit www. stclareshospice.co.uk