A record-breaking Santa Run

09 Dec 2019

Every year 4,000 Santas take to Victoria Park to raise money for charities and have some festive fun.

This year we were lucky enough to have 64 Santas in the event - our largest ever team! They’ve raised an amazing £10,800 so far, which is by far the most we’ve ever raised in the London Santa Run.

See more from the day in our Facebook photo album >

The funds raised will be used for a variety of hospital-based and research projects. We're so grateful to everyone who took part in this event, and those who sponsored our runners. Read more from a few of our amazing Santas below…

Syringa Ward Team

Medical staff from Whipps Cross Hospital’s Syringa Ward were joined by the family of Mofizur Choudhury, a patient who was cared for there in October. Mofizur’s son Bobby says:

“My father was under the care of Consultant Dr Bijay Sinha and Ward Manager Emma Calderon. Sadly, he passed away after 28 days in the ward but the care we received from the entire team was exceptional. We could not have got through this tough time without them all. As we spent much time in the ward we realised that little things such as comfortable chairs, a coffee machine and some pictures on the walls can help brighten up the space for in-patients and their families.

"Our Dad loved running, walking and spending time in parks and green spaces and we were happy that we could continue his legacy by running in Victoria Park with the medical team that cared for him. At the same time, we wanted to help raise funds with Team Syringa so that other patients and their families can navigate their way through difficult times with their loved ones in as much comfort as we did.”

Tricia Handley 

Tricia is the Lead Nurse for People with Learning Disabilities at Barts Health NHS Trust. She says:

"I’ve wanted to do the Santa Run for the past few years but it never quite happened. There was a lot of buzz on Twitter and I could see lots of colleagues doing it, including our Chief Nurse, and was confident I could collect the fundraising target so went for it.

"Barts Charity supports our Trust giving grants... small (little things, big impact), big (research benefitting us all) and HUGE (that scanner)!  I fundraised to support improvements in caring for patients with learning disabilities and autism. It was a great day."

The "Bad Santas" Team

Yesterday marks the third outing of the so-called “Bad Santas” running the Santa Run for us. They are passionate about fundraising for the research and care we fund in the field of trauma. Melanie says:

“Trauma (e.g. falls, terrorist attacks, road traffic accidents, violence) is one of the biggest causes of death and disability in the UK, claiming 17,000 lives every year. Every hour in the UK, 2 people will die from a catastrophic trauma injury and another 8 will be left with life-changing disabilities.

"It's the biggest killer of young people and children - and that includes cancer and meningitis. And yet, research for it is chronically underfunded. It receives less than 1% research funding in the UK.

"But the good news is when the funds are there, the research is working! For example, thanks to research partly funded by Barts Charity, a breakthrough by London doctors (one of whom is my sister!) has meant that mortality rates for the most critically ill trauma patients at The Royal London Hospital have fallen from 47 per cent to 27 per cent. It was featured in the Evening Standard here.”


Seyi Oni

Seyi is a Physiotherapist at Newham Hospital, but also has personal experience with the Barts Health hospitals. He says:

“Three years ago my family went through the worst thing we could imagine when we lost our beautiful son, Deji's twin brother, Tayo. The pain of that experience was made immeasurably more bearable thanks to the incredible care and support of the PICU team at Royal London Hospital and the wider Barts Charity.

"I ran to raise money for the Charity who fund amazing projects across Barts Health NHS Trust. From providing accommodation for families with children staying in Intensive Care (just as they did for us), to paying for brand new gym equipment used by stroke patients, amputees and those recovering from major surgery in our very own Newham Hospital - and everything in between.

"A huge THANK YOU to those who have sponsored me. Your generosity is inspiring!!”


This year we had a host of prizes available – we had prize draws for those signing up in October and November and prizes for the best fundraisers. The winners are… 

  • October sign up prize draw: Somen Banerjee (Mile End Hospital) 
  • November sign up prize draw: Funke Bella (Newham Hospital)
  • Best fundraising team: to be announced on 23rd December 
  • Best fundraising individual: to be announced on 23rd December 


If you’d like to raise money by running, see our 2020 challenge events.

More news

A golden opportunity to fundraise

George and Julia kindly fundraised at their golden wedding anniversary following George's successful triple heart bypass graft at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.  

"Your Hospital Your Charity" launches at Mile End

Following the success of Newham and Whipps Cross Hospital, today saw the next in our series of exciting fundraising launches across the Barts Health NHS Trust hospitals, this time at Mile End Hospital...