Stagecoach Greater Manchester drivers spread a bit of Christmas cheer to raise funds for local communities
Given how strange 2020 has been, Father Christmas trading in his sleigh for a double decker bus now seems run-of-the-mill. Who could blame him as he could use the top deck for storing presents? Unless he uses an open top bus, the presents wouldn’t be soggy. As for automatic transmission, cab heating, kneeling floors and buggy bays, a development that is long overdue. Sadly at the expense of Rudolph and his fellow furloughed reindeer friends.
Supposing Rudolph pays a quid for a canine Day Rover ticket, he could see Father Christmas on a Sunday morning 343. Stagecoach Greater Manchester drivers will be swapping their uniforms for Christmas costumes. All of which to raise much-needed monies and Christmas cheer for community groups across Greater Manchester. Thankfully, the pandemic hasn’t stood in the way of Stagecoach Group’s annual Christmas fundraising efforts.
This month, bus drivers will be dressing up as Father Christmas or as one of his elves. On the staff shuttle, there could be a naughty elf on the parcel shelf. For Stagecoach Greater Manchester, this year’s charity partners is Forever Manchester. It is the only charity that raises money to fund and support community activity across Greater Manchester.
Jean Mills, Head of Business Development at Forever Manchester, said: “It’s fantastic that Stagecoach is continuing to supporting Forever Manchester throughout this difficult time. The Santa and Elf drivers are a great idea and we’re thrilled they are going ahead this year.
“Every penny raised will help to fund community projects across Greater Manchester. These groups have demonstrated throughout the last 8 months how important community is; keeping in touch, connecting and helping each other makes people happier and healthier and reduces isolation which is needed now more than ever.”
Elisabeth Tasker, Stagecoach Manchester managing director, said: “Seeing Santa or an Elf driving a bus puts a smile on everyone’s face, and our customer’s generosity never fails to surprise us. We know this year has been especially difficult for many people and our drivers are happy to do everything they can to raise funds to help support the communities we serve.”
As well as fundraising, it brings Christmas cheer to its passengers. I can speak from experience as a passenger when I saw Santa Claus behind the wheel of a X61 to Preston in 2006. I have fond memories of when JPT Travel decked out one of its buses with coloured lights and snow spray. With such initiatives, there’s only thing I can say: the more the merrier.
An EM60 Presentation, 09 December 2020.
Image courtesy of Tangerine PR Limited.