Wizard way to raise cash for hospice appeal

Police outside student accommodation in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth on Friday Picture Ben Fishwick

Man arrested in Portsmouth explosives probe at Stanhope Road student block is released by police

An inspired school version of The Wizard of Oz has helped raise hundreds of pounds for the Rowans Hospice Dorothy's Dream appeal.

Talented young actors at Crookhorn College of Technology wowed audience members who donated 597.08 towards the 1m campaign for a service to support people wishing to spend their dying days at home.

Collection buckets were out in force on three consecutive nights in late November when funky musical The Wiz hit the spot with ticket-holders.

Jake Owen, 14, who played the title role, said: 'The show went really well.

'I look forward to participating in future events to also help sponsor a charity that gives better lives to cancer patients.'

Trevor Harley, 13, in the role of the scarecrow, said: 'The first show had a small turnout.

'But as soon as they saw us in The News more people wanted to come.

'We raised loads of money for Dorothy's Dream - thanks to everybody who came to watch and donate!'

His co-star James Jardine said: 'When people read the article in The News about our show and the Dorothy appeal we had twice as many people turn up as the night before.

'This gave us more adrenaline so that we could give a great show.

'My ambition is to be an actor so this has been a great experience for me.'

Ann Cooper, head of fundraising at the Rowans Hospice, said: 'We are really grateful to the students and staff at Crookhorn Technology College.

'It's fantastic that these young people are thinking of others and decided to support us, and we would be delighted to hear from other young people who are able to help with our fundraising.'