Disney’s Frozen helps raise thousands for Hartlepool children

People enjoying the Hartlepool Families First event where �8,500 was made to support special needs children.
People enjoying the Hartlepool Families First event where �8,500 was made to support special needs children.

A UNIQUE open-air cinema experience which attracted more than 1,500 people raised a massive £8,500 for children with special needs.

The Hartlepool Families First team came up with the idea of showing the kids movie Frozen on an outdoor cinema screen at a charity event.

Hartlepool Families First manager Paul Thompson celebrates the news that the organisation is to receive almost �100,000 from Children in Need.

Hartlepool Families First manager Paul Thompson celebrates the news that the organisation is to receive almost �100,000 from Children in Need.

And after initially organising to show the film once, the fundraising crew ended up having to put on two extra dates to keep up with the demand from members of the public, after tickets were sold out within hours of going on sale.

So the ultra popular events were held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday last week, at West Rugby Club, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool.

Today, Paul Thompson, manager of Hartlepool Families First, based in Cafe 177 on York Road, said the whole team was overwhelmed with the response from everyone who attended.

He said: “We have done an open air cinema for the last couple of years showing Greece and Mamma Mia.

“This year we decided we were going to be in keeping with the name of the organisation and have one film for kids and one film for adults.

“But the first kids one sold out within 11 hours of going on Facebook so we decided to scrap the adults’ film and just do the children’s one.

“It was absolutely brilliant and across the three events we had 1,500 people come along. We still had to refuse people, and I’m not exaggerating we must have turned away 200 people for each night.”

He added: “We were just absolutely gobsmacked and overwhelmed by the support we received.

“We had people come from as far north as Ashington and south down to Northallerton.

“It was a bit different and a bit novel.”

As well as the film, children enjoyed rides and stalls at the event.

Mr Thompson said the money will be spent on continuing services the organisation provides for special needs children.