Three Stagecoach North East bus drivers in Hartlepool are swapping their uniforms for Christmas costumes in a bid to raise funds for a local charity chosen by the employees

For the company’s annual fundraising event, throughout December bus drivers Keith Bagguley, Wendy Fletcher and Andrew Taylor from the local bus operator’s depot on Brenda Road will be dressing as Santa Claus to bring seasonal cheer to passengers, and raising funds for Daisy Chain as part of its '12 Days of Christmas' campaign.

The bus drivers and the rest of the team are hoping to raise over £625 for the charity which helps children and families affected by autism, and beat last year’s total. The drivers can be seen driving around the town throughout December, hopefully attracting plenty of attention and donations from passengers and the public, and will be handing out festive novelties on board.

Bus driver Keith Bagguley said: “We all really enjoy getting dressed up, as it’s for such a good cause and brings a bit of festive cheer to our day. Christmas can be a hectic time, so we just want to give people a smile or a laugh and raise some money for charity. It also adds a lovely festive atmosphere for people to enjoy on their journey to or from town.”

Katy Carmen (name?), Fundraising and Communications Manager (job title?) from Daisy Chain, said: “We are so grateful to Stagecoach North East for supporting our 12 Days of Christmas campaign. It is only through the efforts of people like the bus drivers that we can continue to provide the services our families rely on. The Christmas period can be very stressful for our families so we are really grateful for these fundraising efforts which enable us to support families at this special time of year.”

Jason Astley, Operations Manager at Stagecoach North East’s Hartlepool depot, said: “The drivers always get into the festive spirit to support the charities chosen and the public’s generosity never fails to surprise us. I think our passengers enjoy seeing Santa Claus driving the buses – it puts a smile on everyone’s face.

“We are always happy to support our drivers, particularly when they’re actively helping the community and raising funds for such a good cause and the rest of the team wish them good luck.”

For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com