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Almost £20,000 raised by Christchurch Living Advent Calendar



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A SERIES of 24 festive performances that brought to life the Advent countdown in Christchurch raised almost £20,000 for local charities.

The spectacular initiative, which was organised by the town’s Rotary club, saw a daily 30-minute surprise event at a town centre venue.

They involved performances such as by a choir, singer, band, dance troupe, musician or theatre group, with each one sponsored by a business and supporting a local charity.

Tom Gillett of Little Lives UK presents the sponsors' cheque to Marianne Abley and Jan Banks
Tom Gillett of Little Lives UK presents the sponsors' cheque to Marianne Abley and Jan Banks

Principal sponsor Kelvin Medley-Jones, of the Primrose Trust which was set up in memory of his mother, said he was “honoured and privileged” to have been involved.

He added: “The success of the Christchurch Living Advent Calendar (CLAC) is due to the hard work and commitment from the team of volunteers.

“We would like to offer a special thank you to Jan Banks. It is not easy to create and deliver any new project, especially one as complex as CLAC.”

A closing performance was held on Christmas Eve in Saxon Square featuring music from Christchurch U3A vintage brass band. The sponsor for the final performance was Little Lives UK, which presented recipient Ashley’s Birthday Bank with a cheque for £500.

The charity provides presents to underprivileged children on their birthday and at Christmas. The organisation also supports families who are in crisis or have escaped domestic violence, abuse or neglect.

The Autism Unlimited choir performing at Priory Church on 1st December as part of the event
The Autism Unlimited choir performing at Priory Church on 1st December as part of the event

Speaking at the event, Christchurch mayor Cllr Sue Bungey gave thanks to the Rotarians and volunteers who put the event together, which was led by Jan Banks and supported by her husband Vince.

Echoing the mayor’s praise was rotary president Marianne Abley who also thanked Christchurch Town Council and BCP Council for their support.

Marianne presented Jan with a commemorative gift and flowers.

An impressive £12,000 was raised in sponsorship before the event, with more being contributed by the public at each performance. The total raised to support 24 local charities currently stands at £19,344, with a little more still to come in.



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