AN IMPORTANT children's charity got a great Christmas present after runners donned Santa outfits for a festive race.

Staff from HCL Healthcare put on the seasonal costumes in aid of Woodford Green-based Haven House Children's Hospice at the Santa Fun Run in Kensington Gardens on Saturday (December 21).

Aside from the Father Christmas suits, a range of other fancy dress ideas were on show, from cartoon characters to Halloween outfits.

Eleven employees from the Loughton-based company raised £610 in sponsorship money, which takes its total raised for the charity to £22,000 this year.

As part of HCL's support of the hospice, they will match the amount raised, meaning the charity has now received in excess of £44,000 from the firm throughout 2010.

Siobhan Songour, corporate fundraiser at the hospice, said: “HCL have been truly inspirational in their support for Haven House.

“The staff at the Loughton HCL office have supported Haven House since 2007 and have always been willing to go to extraordinary lengths to fundraise.

“We are tremendously grateful for their ongoing support.”