Good causes lose out as rain ruins summer events

Rain has hit charity events
Rain has hit charity events
Jon Richardson 'Old Man'. Picture by Andy Hollingworth

REVIEW: Jon Richardson at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

0
Have your say

CHARITIES are losing out on thousands of pounds of income as key fundraising events are washed out by the terrible summer.

Downpours in June and July have forced many organisers to cancel or postpone events that are valuable fundraisers.

And many events that went ahead despite the rain have seen significant drops in attendance and profit.

The Rainbow Centre in Fareham, which supports adults and children with conditions like cerebral palsy and strokes, said it had struggled to bring in the cash.

Clare Acklam, fundraising manager of the centre, said cancelled events such as the annual HMS Collingwood fun day had hit it hard, and that street collections had also suffered.

She said: ‘We’ve had a terrible time of it. We have lost thousands of pounds because of the weather.

‘Usually we would expect to make £10,000 from fun days and outdoor events and £2,000 from collections but we’ve made nothing.’

The Rowans Hospice in Purbrook normally raises £8,000 with its summer fete but had to move last weekend’s planned event to September as the rain poured.

Chief executive Ruth White said: ‘The rain is a complete washout but we won’t let it dampen our spirits – we just have to work twice as hard to raise double the money on another day.’

Organisers of the Bedhampton Summer Show this month said takings in aid of St Thomas’ and St Nicholas’ churches were down 60 per cent this year and the Mayor of Fareham’s Charity Festival raised just £420 for Wessex Heartbeat – not even half the funds expected.

Organisers of the Gosport Carnival, which was forced to move location as Walpole Park was flooded, said they are considering cancelling the event next year due to low attendance figures amid the heavy rain.

Brian Russell, from the Gosporteers, said: ‘We made a loss of around £300 this year – we would usually expect at least £300 profit.’

Fundraisers at Naomi House, which supports children with life-limiting conditions, said they have struggled to get enough participants for events such as the Clarendon Way Walk, in June.

Keith Wilson, from the charity, said: ‘We’ve been lucky so far that we’ve not had to cancel any of our events, but that’s down to the sheer hard work of our fundraisers.

‘It has been extremely difficult to get people to sign up this year because of the recession and the terrible weather.’

As the rain shows no signs of slowing, Gosport Borough Council has cancelled its Summer Fair which was due to take place on Saturday.

It has been rescheduled to take place on September 8 from 9am to 3pm at Walpole Park, Gosport.

HOW TO HELP LIFT THE GLOOM

MANY charities in our area have been affected by extreme weather conditions this summer, through cancelled events and a lack of volunteers to shake collection tins.

And to show support readers are being urged to make a donation to an organisation of their choice.

Anyone who wants to donate to an organisation but is unsure which good cause to pick, can search the Charity Commission’s national database online, at charity-commission.gov.uk or call 0845 300 0218.

Information about each charity and the services it provides is also available on the commission’s website.