More than £70,000 has been raised for Farnham-based charity Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care by schools in west Surrey and north-east Hampshire – as well as two children in Bermuda.

The money was raised through Phyllis Tuckwell’s reindeer and elf runs, which take place every year in the run-up to Christmas.

In total, around 8,500 children from 41 schools took part, wearing either reindeer antlers or an elf hat and ears, and running laps of their school playground or playing field.

The children all loved taking part, and not even emigrating to Bermuda could stop Annabelle and Austin from joining in.

They didn’t want to miss out on their school’s reindeer run, so donned their antlers and did the run on a beach in their new home.

All the money raised by the runs will go directly towards helping fund the supportive and end-of-life care which Phyllis Tuckwell provides for patients and families who are living with an advanced or terminal illness, such as cancer.

Before each school held its run, a member of Phyllis Tuckwell’s fundraising team attended an assembly there, to give a presentation to the staff and children about how the money they raised would help the hospice and the people it cares for.

On the day of the run, a member of staff from Phyllis Tuckwell returned to cheer the children on, dressed festively as a reindeer, elf, snowman or even a Christmas pudding.

The charity encouraged schools which had taken part in the runs before to re-use antlers and elf hats which it had provided for them in previous years, or bring in their own festive headwear, through its ‘Bring your own from home’ initiative.

Charli Quay-Barnham, community fundraising manager at Phyllis Tuckwell, said: “We would like to say a massive thank you to all the pupils who took part in the reindeer and elf runs, the teachers who arranged and organised the runs, and everyone who sponsored the children.”