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Shoppers at Festival Place, Basingstoke, dig deep and raise thousands for charities

15 January 2019

An incredible fundraising effort by customers at Festival Place will see more than £2,400 handed over to inspirational good causes, including charities helping cancer patients, a respite holiday home for families, and a hospice.

An incredible fundraising effort by customers at Festival Place will see more than £2,400 handed over to inspirational good causes, including charities helping cancer patients, a respite holiday home for families, and a hospice.

The cheque for £2,446.51 will be presented on Blue Monday, January 21 – dubbed the most depressing day of the year – as Festival Place continues its focus on wellness to brighten up January for shoppers.

The money was raised over five weekends before Christmas as 365 customers took part in free wreath-making workshops, which were led by The Hampshire Flower Studio.

Each weekend shoppers taking part in the free sessions could contribute to a suggested donation to a different good cause in the Basingstoke area – and they certainly dug deep.

The final sums raised will see £197.10 donated to St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke, while £371.21 will go The Pink and Blue Place, which provides free hair services, complementary therapies, and beauty therapies to people with cancer in North Hampshire and West Berkshire. A total of £561.08 will be donated to Anna’s Challenges, which support children with Cystic Fibrosis and their families by buying essential equipment that the NHS does not have the budget to buy.

A sum of £419.18 will be going to Sebastian’s Action Trust, which provides respite breaks for families with seriously-ill children at its purpose-built holiday home, The Bluebells, in North Waltham.

A total of £897.94 – raised the week before Christmas – will be going to The Pelican Cancer Foundation, which is driving life-saving research into the treatment of bowel, bladder, prostate and liver cancers.

The Blue Monday cheque handover will also coincide with a talk on mindfulness by internationally-renowned wildlife photographer Matt Cattell, whose stunning images graced the walls of the flower therapy studio.

Hampshire Flower Studio continues to work closely with Festival Place and hosted free wellness workshops over the weekend of January 12 and 13. Donations were taken for The Playhouse Foundation, a Hampshire-based charity that helps children with autism, and the final sum raised will be announced at a later date.

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “This is a wonderful start to the year at Festival Place and we would like to thank each and every customer who donated.

“Each of these worthwhile causes makes a huge difference to thousands of people in the region and we’re pleased to be able to help our local community with these donations.”

Jenni Krauklis-Gould, from Hampshire Flower Studio, added: “They say Christmas is the season of goodwill – and Festival Place customers certainly lived up to this old adage.

“Our workshops were a fantastic success and it’s our privilege to be able to help these charities and begin 2019 in a such a positive way.”