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Thousands dressed as Santa dash through park to raise money for hospital

Thousands of runners dressed as Santa Claus have jogged through a London park to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Hospital staff, patients and families of all ages and abilities walked, sprinted and wheeled their way through the 5km and 10km courses on Clapham Common.

Around 2,800 runners took part in the London Santa Dash, hoping to raise £300,000 for the children's hospital.

Runners were greeted at the finish line with mince pies and mulled wine, while a brass band and carol singers performed.

Tim Johnson, chief executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, said: "The money raised today is going to enable us to develop the hospital so we can treat more children, and importantly fund research so that we can find new and better treatment for the children who come to Great Ormond Street."

Five-year-old GOSH patient Mia Vincent, who was born with a rare genetic condition called CHARGE syndrome where a number of symptoms are seen together, began the race by sounding the starting klaxon.

Mia joined in the 5km walk along with her parents Claire and Rob and her brothers Oscar, 10, and Oliver, eight.

Mrs Vincent said: "We signed up to the London Santa Dash because the hospital has done so much for Mia and we cannot thank them enough."

Elsewhere, fundraisers dressed as Father Christmas ran 5km from Pier Head in Liverpool, in aid of Radio City's Cash For Kids, Everton In The Community and Zoe's Place Baby Hospice.

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