Free party is a real treat for the youngsters

Daisie-Mae Beckley (6) and Callum Downie (7) with their entries in the Pumpkin competition at the Southern Co-op free Halloween party at the Hayling Community Centre''.''Picture: Steve Reid (123519-824)
Daisie-Mae Beckley (6) and Callum Downie (7) with their entries in the Pumpkin competition at the Southern Co-op free Halloween party at the Hayling Community Centre''.''Picture: Steve Reid (123519-824)
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THERE was some ghoulish fun at a free Halloween party thrown for youngsters on Hayling Island.

Children turned up at Hayling Island Community Centre dressed in fancy dress and got the chance to draw pumpkins and carve their own ones into spooky shapes.

The event also included a barbecue and people tasted food at stalls set up by local suppliers.

The event, which was paid for and hosted by The Southern Co-operative, also marked the launch of the firm’s community support card scheme.

The scheme asks shoppers at the Hayling Island Co-op store to swipe a green card at the till when they pay for their shopping.

Part of their money then goes towards supporting worthy causes.

The scheme runs every year and looks to raise £30,000.

The money is then split between three charities.

This time around the scheme is benefiting Hayling Island Community Responders, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Friends of Chichester Harbour.

At yesterday’s party, green cards were handed out to guests and representatives from each of the charities talked about their work how the money would benefit them.

Teresa Williams, events manager for The Southern Co-operative, said: ‘We only set a target of £30,000 because we want to give the community an amount they can cope with.

‘We marked the launch of the scheme with a fun party and gave it a Halloween theme because of the time of year.

‘It was great for the children. They seemed to love it.’

Tania Jones, 45, centre manager for the community centre, said: ‘It was an amazing day.

‘The activities that were put on for everyone were brilliant.

‘It was nice to see parents enjoying a burger and a cup of tea and seeing the community come together.’