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Borough Braved the Storms for Love Kingston Day

The stormy weather on Valentine’s Day didn’t stop the borough of Kingston Upon Thames sharing the love and support for the Love Kingston appeal.

Despite the wind and rain on Friday 14 February, residents, businesses, shops, schools, choirs, pubs and banks bravely turned out to fundraising events with the aim of raising money for local charities in their community that support people in crisis.

They were all helping to change the lives of thousands of local residents including homeless people, abused women, families without a meal on the table or in financial hardship, and troubled teenagers.  Although our borough has some of the wealthiest 2% of UK residents, it also has some of the most deprived 2% living side by side - with one in three children living below the poverty line in some areas, and times are getting tougher. 

With so many events happening all over the borough and some fundraising activities continuing through February, donations are still coming in and the full amount raised will be announced in a few weeks’ time.   But some of the first figures show that The Willoughby Arms Comedy Night raised £120, BHS Kingston raised £290 in store, the Kingston Chamber of Commerce raffle raised £414, The Canbury Arms Coffee Morning raised over £600, Colemans ctts solicitors raised over £800 from their jam-packed week of activities, and the Rich Man Poor Man event raised a whopping £1800.

Elaine Miller, Fundraising Manager for Love Kingston said: “What an amazing day!  We were delighted to see so many businesses, groups and individuals support Love Kingston through one special day of fundraising.  We had great fun running all over town taking pictures of everyone taking part, from making collections at local stations, to coffee mornings, meeting the Mayor, Penny Shelton, at BHS Kingston, the Euphonix Choir singing Love Songs, staff at Colemans ctts solicitors dying their hair red, and men waxing their legs, to comedy in the evening at The Willoughby Arms to live music and a lucky dip meal at Rich Man, Poor Man.

“Everyone has a part to play in our community and every penny raised adds to the pot, making a difference in our local community.  It was an amazing day and a huge effort made by some truly wonderful people. We can’t thank them enough.  All the money raised will be supporting our local charity and community projects – with 50% match funding on donations to the Kingston Legacy Fund so the final amount raised will be even bigger!” 


The Canbury Arms organised a coffee morning and raffle with special guests Zac Goldsmith MP and Angellica Bell popping in for a coffee and croissant.  Charlotte Salaman of The Canbury Arms said: "Despite the wild weather we were delighted and bowled over by the support our customers demonstrated at the Love Kingston coffee morning at the pub. Their generosity is overwhelming, and we're thrilled that they backed the event as much as we hoped. There's a lot of love in this community! Also must mention all the raffle prize donations from local companies who kindly supported the day too. We salute you all!"


BHS Kingston organised many events in store by collaborating with local artist, Lee Campbell, and students at Kingston College. Store Manager Wendy Guy said: “This is a great local initiative to bring the town together to benefit local charities, more towns should follow Kingston's example of true community spirit.”


Jennifer Gray of Gr8nightsOut organised the comedy event at the Willoughby Arms and said of the evening: “On behalf of the company we would like to say thank The Willoughby Arms and the fantastic locals that made the evening such a fun event! We look forward to performing again next 21st March 2014.”


Tessa Kind organised the Rich Man Poor Man Event at Kingston College where guests drew a lucky dip to either eat like a pauper or dine like a lord.  Tessa said: “Wow what a super evening! Over 130 guests came and danced the night away to The Apple Core Beatles after having feasted on pasta Puttanesca or Boeuf Bourguignon. Other bands that had us singing in the aisles included Mandolin Jack with special guest Sue Wheeler, Allan Lloyd, Jonny S Clarke, Franklin, and my personal favourites the Kingston college students Fear and Loathing.

“I am so proud of everyone that helped to make Rich man, Poor man such a successful and fun night. From the brilliant tech students at Kingston College, who did an amazing job staging the whole event with live feed, sound and lighting to the volunteers, waitresses, wonderful musicians and brilliant chefs. It was a lot of hard work but it definitely paid off as we raised over £1800. I can't wait to find out how much the Love Kingston Day has raised all together. Keep sharing the Love, Kingston!”  

Published on 20 February 2014

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