17 January 2023

Katharine House Hospice has raised almost £100,000 over the Christmas period through its festive activities, helping to ensure patients with incurable illnesses receive the care they need.

December is always a busy month of fundraising for Katharine House Hospice, and its supporters didn’t disappoint, donating their time and money to the range of events and initiatives on offer.

The popular Tractor Run, organised by RC Baker in aid of the hospice, attracted thousands of people to the streets to watch the 100 brightly lit tractors on their journey through Banbury and surrounding villages, raising £27,462.65 and counting, a far cry from its humble beginnings in 2016 when it raised £2,000 and had 26 tractors running.

The hospice’s flagship Santa Fun Run Event saw 400 Santas of all ages running around Spiceball Park on Sunday 4 December, raising a further £27k, with sponsorship still coming in. On top of this, almost 10,000 pupils took part in their own Santa runs at schools across the local community, raising more than £4k for Katharine House.

Supporters dug deep for this year’s Christmas Appeal, donating £32,495 through the post, online and as part of the hospice’s Lights of Love event, which was held to give people a chance to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones lost.

And 180 trees were collected and chipped with the hospice’s Christmas tree-cycle scheme, with participants donating £3,294.

Jennie Steenkamp from RC Baker Ltd, which runs the Tractor Run every year, said the company had been fundraising for Katharine House ever since her grandfather Ray Marcham spent his final days at the hospice in the January of 2004.   

She said: "We have always chosen Katharine House when we have done any fundraising because of the amazing care they gave to Ray. I never anticipated that this event would be such a huge fundraiser and I couldn’t be happier that it has turned into such a massive success. 

"Looking back to that first event in 2016, it has grown beyond what I could ever have imagined. To think that we now have to limit the number of tractors on the run and that we’ve raised £97,000 over the years is just unbelievable."

Thank you from Katharine House

Head of fundraising for Katharine House Stephanie Lawless said: "Our supporters are always incredibly generous, but we know that times are hard at the moment, and were concerned that people wouldn’t be able to support us in the same way. We are absolutely delighted to have raised so much and feel so grateful to our community for standing by us.

"The future is uncertain. We don’t know how much the cost of living crisis and various other factors are going to affect our fundraising in the future. But our busy team will continue to initiate and organise a range of diverse events which will hopefully appeal to a wide audience. Here’s to an exciting 2023!"

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