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Hartlepool food charity edges closer to £30,000 goal

Phoenix Variety Showgroup. Picture Ashley Foster
Phoenix Variety Showgroup. Picture Ashley Foster

A Hartlepool project that helps feed the town’s needy edged closer to its £30,000 target after a successful fundraising night.

A night of good food and music was served up to a packed audience at Avenue ballroom in aid of St Aidan’s Church’s weekly food kitchen.

It was a full house at AVenue for the St Aidan's kitchen fundraiser. Picture Ashley Foster

It was a full house at AVenue for the St Aidan's kitchen fundraiser. Picture Ashley Foster

The event was organised by the Town of Hartlepool group to raise money for St Aidan’s fund to buy a new kitchen needed to provide meals to the homeless, lonely and those in need.

Entertainment was provided by the ten-piece Phoenix Variety Showgroup and local duo The Little Auld Suitcase Band.

Derrick Rowbotham, of the Phoenix and Town of Hartlepool groups, said: “It went really well, there was a full house.

“Everybody has been saying what a great night it was.

Phoenix Variety Showgroup member Linda Edmenson singing during the fundraising night. Picture Ashley Foster

Phoenix Variety Showgroup member Linda Edmenson singing during the fundraising night. Picture Ashley Foster

“Les Watts compered everything and was brilliant.

“We raised quite a bit of money. I was worried how well it would go but lots of people turned out and it was a fantastic night.”

Hartlepool councillors Dave Hunter, Rob Cook, Brenda Harrison and Stephen Thomas donated £1,000 between them from their ward budgets.

And another £1,200 is expected to have been raised on top of that from ticket sales and raffles on the night.

Reverend Gemma Sampson with St Aidan's kitchen project volunteers at the fundraising event. Picture Ashley Foster

Reverend Gemma Sampson with St Aidan's kitchen project volunteers at the fundraising event. Picture Ashley Foster

It brings St Aidan’s total fundraising for the new kitchen to £23,500.

Derrick paid special thanks to Karen Coussons, a volunteer with the kitchen project, who sold tickets and organised all the food, tables and raffle on the night.

Phoenix played and sang music from the 1920s right up to the present day on instruments including drums, guitar, keyboard and the ukulele.

Members of St Aidan’s Kitchen attended the event including Reverend Gemma Sampson.

The soup kitchen held in St Aidans Church. Picture by Frank Reid

The soup kitchen held in St Aidans Church. Picture by Frank Reid

Guests were invited to bring a tin or small donation for the kitchen which filled a table.

It now regularly provides nourishing meals and toiletries every Thursday to anyone who needs their help.

But the volunteers manage on just one microwave oven, three slow cookers and two kettles.

Having a purpose built kitchen in place will allow it to help more people.

The night was the first outing for the Phoenix showgroup after forming out of the former Hartlepool Ukelear Power music group.