Tyneside Santa set to bring festive joy for charity

Taxi driver Darren Murphy will dress as Father Christmas once again to raise cash for charity.
Taxi driver Darren Murphy will dress as Father Christmas once again to raise cash for charity.

A kind-hearted taxi driver is getting into the festive spirit again by dressing up as Santa to deliver cash for charity.

Darren Murphy, 33, is gearing up to don his Santa suit for the third year running, as he drives around the borough in a bid to boost the coffers of the Charlie Cookson Foundation.

Taxi driving Santa Darren Murphy will be driving his taxi to raise money for charity.

Taxi driving Santa Darren Murphy will be driving his taxi to raise money for charity.

The charity provides financial support to parents of children with life limiting conditions who require 24 hour nursing care.

Mr Murphy, from Prince Concett Road, Jarrow, is already booked up throughout December, where he will drive around 40 homes in the borough visiting children and giving them presents.

Mr Murphy, who drives for Express Taxis, says he hopes to raise as much as possible from his festive fundraiser.

He said: “I did it for St Clare’s Hospice last year and thought I would do it for another charity this year.

“I decided to do it for the Charlie Cookson Foundation as it just seemed like a charity that needed a little bit of help.

“I am now fully booked for the visits and I am also doing three parties.”
He added: “I just turn up to their homes in my taxi dressed as Santa, speak to the children and give them presents from their parents.

“It is £10 per family and all the money goes to the charity.”

It looks set to be a busy month for the charity champion, who will also be Santa at The Lake pub in Marsden on December 17 and at the Charles Young Centre in South Shields that same day.

On December 18 he will also be at the Christmas party at The Pelaw Inn, Gateshead.

Mr Murphy said the visits - which were advertised on Facebook- have been really popular this year.

He continued: “It has really take off. For some reason there seems to be a lot of people involved in the foundation who want to donate.

“I love doing it every year and I love donating money to charity.

“I don’t think there is enough support for charities sometimes, so it is nice to be able to help.

“I will also be doing the Boxing Day Dip again dressed as Santa, along with my daughter Kalli, who is 10 and my son Kaiden, who is seven, while youngest son Alfie and wife Cheryl will cheer us on.

“It will really get me in the Christmas spirit.”