FAMILIES are invited to dash, dance and prance around a Sunderland shopping centre this weekend – to raise money for charity.

The city’s second annual Reindeer Dash will take place at the Bridges on Sunday, 8 December.

And everyone who takes part in the 1k indoor run will be given a medal by the two stars of Sunderland Empire’s Christmas panto, Cinderella and Prince Charming.

Actors Gemma Naylor and Jon Moses will be taking time out from their busy schedules to attend the event which hopes to raise much needed funds for charity.

This year, the two beneficiaries are the Foundation of Light – which aims to improve lives through football-based sports, health, community and education programmes - and the Red Sky Ball which raises money annually for the Children’s Heart Unit, at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Runners will also each receive a reindeer nose and antlers to help them get in the festive spirit at the event and will even have the chance to meet Santa Claus.

After the dash, everyone is invited to stay for character appearances, photo opportunities and to browse for their Christmas shopping.

Sharon Appleby, head of business operations at Sunderland BID, which organises the event, hopes as many people as possible will come along and take part.

“The festive season is well underway in Sunderland with lots to see and do – and the Reindeer Dash is always a great event that really gets everyone excited for Christmas.

“Everyone can come along, see Santa, meet Cinderella and Prince Charming and, of

course, raise money for two very important and worthy causes.”

Children's entry (12 and under) to the event costs £3.50, which includes reindeer nose and antlers, a reindeer medal and free entry to The Bridges Santa Grotto and adults’ entry is £5.50.

Children aged five or under can race for free but must be accompanied by a paying adult on the course.

Tickets for the event, which is supported by SR1 Rotary and Sunderland Empire Theatre, can be booked at and the event is scheduled to take place between 9am and 11am.

For further information, contact

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