Festive fundraisers bring in over £100k for St Barnabas

17th January 2023

Group of people walking through Lincoln's historic Bailgate area with Lincoln Cathedral in background

St Barnabas Hospice has been given a boost of over £100,000, fundraised through several campaigns over the Christmas period.

The Hospice’s annual Light up a Life, Rudy’s Run and Tree-cycle brought in a staggering total of £95,134, with the charity’s sales and bucket collections at the Lincoln Christmas Market raising a further £4,363. On top of this, an influx of cash donations came in throughout the festive period – taking the total raised to over £100k.

Light up a Life is St Barnabas’ biggest yearly fundraiser, which sees thousands of people dedicating a light in memory of loved ones lost via the charity’s website. These lights shone brightly on the Tree of Life, a 30-foot Christmas tree located in front of Lincoln Cathedral throughout the holiday period.

Group of people with lit torches at night

The Tree was lit during the Hospice’s Torchlight Procession on 22nd November. Almost a thousand people of all ages came together to remember those no longer with us, walking with flaming torches and lanterns through the historic uphill area of Lincoln towards the Cathedral.

1,265 people dedicated a light, with 875 torches and lanterns purchased during the Procession. Together, this campaign raised an incredible £44,987.

Louise Cotton, Fundraising Officer and project lead for the Torchlight Procession says: “It is such a poignant event and an incredibly moving evening. So many people join us, all with their own memories of those they have lost – it’s both a deeply personal event, as well as a communal experience. We are so grateful to everyone who has dedicated a light or walked in our Procession, and we look forward to doing it again at the end of this year.”

Children wearing reindeer antlers walking with a person dressed in reindeer costumeA fundraiser for our younger supporters, Rudy’s Run is an action-packed fun run that 65 schools, nurseries and social groups like Scouts and after-school clubs took part in throughout December.

Over 7,400 children of varying ages were given activity books to inspire them and play with, and they ran, walked, skipped, danced or pranced to raise money for St Barnabas, wearing antlers and a red nose – just like Rudy the reindeer!

A total of £16,752 has been raised through Rudy’s Run, with some donations still to be received and counted.

Ellie Carter, Fundraising Officer and Rudy’s Run lead comments: “We loved seeing the children have so much fun while also making a huge difference for people in their community! Rudy personally dropped off the activity packs, antlers and noses, and he spreads joy wherever he goes. He is now back at the North Pole, and can’t wait to see all the children again next Christmas.

“We want to thank every child and grown-up who took part or donated money, Rudy is very proud of you all!”

Two women holding items in front of wooden Christmas cabin. Left woman wears blue hat and holds a hamper, woman on the right wears red reindeer antlers and holds a tray with two bottles

Running from 1st until 4th December, the Lincoln Christmas Market saw an estimated 300,000 people attend. This year, St Barnabas was honoured to have been chosen as the Market’s very first Charity Partner, with both organisations celebrating their 40th anniversary year.

The charity was given a wooden cabin in front of their Tree of Life to sell a selection of gifts, including its special anniversary gin and rum by Pin Gin and coffee blend by The Lincoln Tea & Coffee Company. St Barnabas was also given the opportunity to fundraise through bucket collections, which volunteers kindly did throughout the Market’s duration – including on those cold and wet days!

In total, the Hospice’s fundraising efforts at Lincoln Christmas Market raised £4,363, with thanks to City of Lincoln Council for choosing St Barnabas.

Woman and child holding up green trees by white van

Once all the festive fun is over, what do you do with your unwanted Christmas tree? Well, you let the St Barnabas elves take care of it!

Tree-cycle returned earlier this month, offering individuals and businesses tree collection from their front door, in return for a donation to the Hospice. Unpotted trees get chipped, which can then be turned into fuel for biomass boilers or mulch for gardens. Potted trees are replanted and given a new lease on life.

This green campaign proved to be even more popular than ever before, with our elf-volunteers collecting 1,552 trees around Lincolnshire and raising a tree-mendous £33,395.

Chris Dunkley, Fundraising Officer and project lead on Tree-cycle, says: “The take-up has been incredible; we were able to visit even more locations around the county than before thanks to increased support from our volunteers. It really is a community effort, we couldn’t have done it without the brilliant local businesses who lend us their manpower, vans, chipping services or offered other help.

“A huge thank you to everyone who booked a tree collection or supported us during Tree-cycle, and we hope to ‘branch out’ further next year!”

St Barnabas extends its gratitude to every person and organisation who has supported it over the holiday season.

The money raised helps the Hospice in its mission to provide compassionate, dignified care to over 12,000 adults living with a life-limiting or terminal illness annually. Each pound really does make a difference and is greatly appreciated.

Large Christmas tree in front of Lincoln Cathedral

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