Festive day in the sun raises cash for cancer

HO HO HO From left, Susie Sleight, Charlotte Cookson, Ray Eamer, Gavin Brett and Bobby Clayton enjoy a Christmas-themed outdoor event held on Southsea Common.    Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (112976-1)
HO HO HO From left, Susie Sleight, Charlotte Cookson, Ray Eamer, Gavin Brett and Bobby Clayton enjoy a Christmas-themed outdoor event held on Southsea Common. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112976-1)

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CHRISTMAS came early for these fundraisers as they held a festive day in the sunshine.

The festive-themed barbecue on Southsea Common was put on by members of the British Military Fitness and raised £400 in aid of Cancer Research.

There was a Christmas tree decorated with tinsel and baubles, festive fancy dress, outdoor games like rounders and cricket, and an Australian barbecue at the event.

A piper also made a grand surprise entrance by piping from the other end of the Common.

And there were performances from a busker and a children’s entertainer.

Nichola Clayton, 36, of Eastfield Road, Southsea, said: ‘It was a bit funny to have Christmas in the sun but I guess that’s how they always do it Down Under.

‘It felt a bit strange to be outside playing games in the heat rather than staying indoors, but it was nice – we should have a summer Christmas every year.’

The unusual event was organised by Nichola’s mum Bobby to put towards her fundraising total for doing this year’s Shine Walk – a night-time marathon through London in aid of Cancer Research, on October 1.

The 61-year-old, of Clarence Parade, Southsea, said: ‘I don’t work any more so it’s difficult to find people to sponsor me so I thought this was the best way to raise money for the walk.

‘The turnout was great and everyone enjoyed themselves but most importantly we raised a lot of money.’

Shortly after completing the walk, Bobby will jet off to Cambodia to do volunteer work in an orphanage for at least six months.

She added: ‘I won’t be here for Christmas so this was a really nice way for me to have mine early. That way I still got to spend it with my family and friends.’