A YOUNG girl yesterday followed in her family's charitable footsteps by organising a festive fundraising fun run for the hospice her great-grandmother founded.

Seven-year-old Emilia Holder, great-granddaughter of Mary Butterwick, persuaded everyone at her school to take part in a reindeer run to raise vital cash for the Butterwick Hospice.

Runners from reception class up to year six took to the playground at Junction Farm Primary School in Eaglescliffe, Stockton, wearing their own specially designed masks, raising more than £500.

Emilia came up with the idea herself and wrote to the head teacher, Karen Norton, who was so impressed that she gave the go ahead for the event straight away.

"I really liked organising it and it was really good that everyone took part," said the youngster. "Hopefully, we will be able to do it all again."

Class by class the children donned their Christmas jumpers and put on their reindeer masks.

Once they were all dressed and ready, they headed for the playground to take on the run.

Year three teacher and head of sport Jayme Norton, who helped Emilia organise the event, said: "It was an amazing experience for all the children. They were all so excited to be taking part in the race. They all designed their own reindeer masks and enjoyed getting dressed up.

"It was made all the more better because it was for a charity that is close to the heart of Emilia – she did so well to get everyone involved."

At the end of the event each child was given a pack of reindeer dust to take with them to make sure the chimney at their home isn’t missed by Rudolph.

Mary Butterwick, who died in 2015, founded Stockton-based Butterwick Hospice Care in 1984, selling her own home to buy somewhere where people could die with dignity.