Dundee Santa Dash: Father Christmas visits kids in Ninewells ahead of city run

Youngsters on the ward meeting Santa.

Children receiving treatment at Ninewells Hospital have been given a little bit of help getting into the Christmas spirit — after Santa paid them a visit.

Santa’s visit to Ward 30 came ahead of the Santa Dash, which aims to raise funds for the Archie Foundation, the official charity of Tayside Children’s Hospital, which aims raise £2 million for a new twin operating theatre.

Youngsters at the day surgery — aged from 22 months to 13 years old — were delighted when Santa turned up to surprise them.

He posed for pictures with the children, gave them a present and reminded them about the fundraising event, which is taking place on Sunday.

Emma White, from Archie, with student nurses (from left) Susan Manson, Blaine Ritchie, Hayley McEnhill and Blaire Sloan, who will be taking part in the Santa Dash.

The 2km “dash” will start and finish at City Square, with participants clad in Santa outfits following a route which will include the Murraygate, Meadowside and Reform Street.

The Tele is backing the event and will publish a special commemorative pull-out after the dash, which will contain lots of photos of the day, alongside a special “Santa’s Roll of Honour”.

During the visit, the children were each given a toy rabbit as a gift from the Archie Foundation.

Santa also paid a visit to Ward 29, the children’s medical ward.

Ellie Leslie, 10, said: “It’s beginning to feel like Christmas now. I like my rabbit.”

Suzie Byer, senior charge nurse on Ward 30, said: “We are just delighted that Santa has arrived.

Ellie Leslie, 10 and Emily Batchelor, 13, with Santa.

“It’s just put a smile on all the wee faces. We’d like to encourage people to support Archie by taking part in the Santa Dash.”

She added that the funds received would help to increase the capacity of the children’s surgical unit.

Santa, who took a break from prepping for Christmas to come along to the hospital, said: “It’s absolutely amazing seeing all the happy smiling faces of the children in the ward.

“And its great being able to come along and give the children a present just before our Santa Dash.

“It just goes to show what a great cause it is. All the money that we are raising goes straight to this hospital.”

Also present at the hospital were Claire D’All and Emma White, from the Archie Foundation. Claire, 23, who has been a volunteer since January, has congenital muscular dystrophy.

Emma White and Claire D’All, from the Archie Foundation, during the visit to Ward 30.

She said: “When I was younger I was in Ward 29 and they were really good to me.

“I just wanted to give something back to the children’s hospital.”

The Santa Dash will begin at 10.30am.

So far, more than 500 people have signed up for the event, which is the first of its kind for the city.

The deadline for those who want sign up online has now passed.

However,  you can still take part by turning up at City Square at 9.30am on the day, as Santa suits will still be available. On the day itself, there will be plenty of prizes going about, including for best dressed Santa.

See Monday’s Tele for an eight-page picture pull-out from Sunday’s Santa Dash.