On a perfect sunny summer day last Saturday, the Dartmouth & District Friends of Children’s Hospice South West were delighted to raise over £3,300 at their 19th annual art event in Royal Avenue Gardens.

The amount raised will help the charity to continue to provide essential specialist care and support for over 550 families with life-limited children in the South West – making the most of short and precious lives.

Introduced by Town Crier, Lez Ellis, the Captain of Britannia Royal Naval College, Captain Sarah Oakley, opened the event and presented a cheque for a £500 donation from the BRNC Charities Committee.

A team of Royal Navy Officer Cadets from BRNC provided support, helping the volunteers and artists with setting up and taking down gazebos and equipment. Many people praised their willingness to help and they were certainly a credit to the Royal Navy and BRNC.

The event opening was followed by a performance by local singer Viki Philp, followed by a wide variety of music from The Kingsbridge Buskers, music students from Kingsbridge Academy, and James Harris closed the entertainment programme for the day with his saxophone playing.

Twenty nine artists and craft workers set up their stalls in their gazebos with a huge variety of interesting gifts for the many locals and visitors browsing and buying throughout the day. Town Crier Lez Ellis changed outfits to become the balloon sculpturer and CHSW volunteers ran a children’s and a bottle tombola and also did well in the tea hut, selling refreshments. Supplies were donated by volunteers and supporters, so all the proceeds contributed to the impressive fundraising total of £3,366, — a wonderful contribution towards helping Children’s Hospice South West to continue their work.

Sue Tweed, a volunteer in the Friends Group, said “We would like to thank everyone who supported this event – all the generous people visiting us, exhibiting, volunteering and supporting the event, including BRNC and the Officer Cadets – we couldn’t have done this without you all!”

Children’s Hospice South West has three hospices in the region where specialist care and support is provided for the whole family. This involves specialist palliative care, respite for the whole family, a sibling service for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end of life care and a bereavement service for as long as is needed. Running costs are over £11 million each year and only 17% of the running costs is provided by government. Through their local events, CHSW Dartmouth & District Friends Group aim to raise as much money as possible for this vital charity, as well as awareness of their work. More volunteers are needed to help at the events - any help, however little or infrequent, is very much appreciated. For details, contact Sue Tweed at [email protected] or 07955 197721.