THOMAS Fairfield’s family and friends put on red cloaks for a Santa Dash to raise money for the Wiltshire hospice that supported him in his three-year cancer battle.

Mr Fairfield, of the Dilton Marsh, died last month and his parents, Mick and Hilary, wanted to enter a team into Dorothy House’s annual festive event to honour his memory.

Of the Santa Dash’s 120 runners, on the 6km circuit, 36 Santas were from Team Thom.

His eight-year-old son, Ashton, was cheering on the family and friends from the sidelines.

Mr Fairfield said: “It was a lovely day and great fun. Because Thom was so athletic and he would have been running with us.”

Team Thom competed in the event as a thank you for all the support that the Winsley-based charity provided and its members hope to raise £7,000.

“The night sitters were an incredibly valuable service and made sure we got a good night’s sleep,” said Mrs Fairfield. “They were wonderful people, who gave us peace of mind.”

Mead School pupil Ashton has also got into the fundraising spirit by holding two cake sales for the charity, which brought in a total of £1,461.

Organisers of the Santa Dash were pleased with how successful this year’s event was and are hopeful of beating the sum of £11,000 raised in 2011.

Katrina Sudbury, the hospice’s director of fundraising and communications, said: “We were so lucky to have a crisp, sunny morning.

“It was great fun, although the children were a little bemused at so many Santas running about the place.”

Last year the event was held at Brokerswood, but the course proved too muddy and it was moved to the hospice grounds in Winsley for 2012.

The hospice is still tallying the funds raised by entrants in the Santa Dash.

For more information about Dorothy House, visit uk.