STAFF and patients at Helen & Douglas House are getting ready to take part in the charity's popular Santa run.

Each year thousands of festive fundraisers, dressed in red suits and with white beards, take to Oxford's streets for Santas on the Run to raise money for the hospice, which costs more than £5 million a year to maintain.

This December they will be joined by 12-year-old Amana, who has been attending Helen & Douglas House since she was a toddler, along with outreach consultant Karen Brombley and her daughter.

Sarah Brombley, 28, said the families have known each other for more than a decade.

She added: "When my mum told me the Santa run was coming up I was keen to take part as I'd done the Pretty Muddy 5K earlier in the year and really enjoyed it.

"I immediately thought about asking Amana and she said she'd love to join me and mum."

The trainee primary school teacher said her connection to the staff and patients at the hospice made the cause even more special, saying: "I'm really lucky to have been able to see from both sides the work the charity does and I wanted to do what I can to help them keep on going."

Amana has spina bifida and complex medical needs, meaning she will be taking part in her wheelchair, but her mum Tania Beale, from Abingdon, said this had not dampened her enthusiasm.

She said: "She is really looking forward to it and it is great that our family can give back to Helen & Douglas in some small way for all they have done for us over the years.

"The hospital are fantastic too but at the hospice they know they can't fix things and they don't try to, they just give the whole family the support we need. They've known Amana her whole life and she loves going there, nowadays she goes on her own for respite care and meets a group of girls."

"It is hard to say how important it is knowing I can call them 24/7 and they will be there."

The 43-year-old's daughter Imogen also used Helen & Douglas House before her death at the age of 13 two years ago.

She said: "We were there for the final month of her life and I honestly don't know where we'd be today if it wasn't for them.

"I know times are tough right now for charity funding so it is more important than ever to make sure the service is supported."

Santas on the Run takes place on Sunday, December, 10 and each year thousands of Santas take part, to help raise funds for the local charity.

The seasonal three-and-a-half kilometre fun run starts in Broad Street and goes through University Parks.

Sign up now at