Victorious Festival awards more than £25,000 to deserving charities across Portsmouth

CHARITIES from across the region are set to benefit after receiving thousands of pounds.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 5:52 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:59 pm
Terri Hall of Victorious, left, pictured with Lewis Hine and his mother, Emma Hine, at the cheque presentation. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (240119-13)

The money was donated by the Victorious Festival after money was raised at the summer event.

Victorious director, James Ralls, said: ‘This my favourite part of the event. We have been raising money for local charities since the festival started seven years ago. The money is raised via stalls at the event, proceeds from catering, ticket sales and the many stalls the charities have at the event.’

Having grown up in Portsmouth, James was particularly keen to see the money go to local good causes. 

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Terri Hall of Victorious, left, pictured with Lewis Hine and his mother, Emma Hine, at the cheque presentation. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (240119-13)

‘All the charities that benefit are selected by local people,’ he said. ‘We send letters to all the nearby houses who then put forward their charities. They then vote on the good causes they want to support.’

In addition to financial donations, James said the Victorious also helps organisations by providing equipment and staffing to support fundraising events.

In total, the 2018 festival has raised more than £26,500 which was presented to local charities.

The largest round of applause was reserved for 17-year-old Lewis Hine who received a cheque for £3,300 to support his charity, Friend Finder. Lewis was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 17 months and has since had 13 operations.

Cheque recipients pictured at Castle Field, Southsea, after the presntation. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (240119-15)

‘Due to my illness, I went through a phase at secondary school where I didn’t get the chance to socialise with people of my age. I realised there must be other people in a similar position and it was then I had a ‘light bulb’ moment to develop a charity which could help people in my situation,’ explained Lewis.

Over the last three years Lewis has established a support network for over 200 children and young people and has put on a range of events including skiing trips and an annual prom night at the Guildhall.

The Portsmouth branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were also one of the key beneficiaries after receiving a cheque for £2300. 

Crew member and press officer, Aaron Gent, said: ‘We are incredibly grateful. It is great for Victorious to think of us. It is also significant that this is a seaside festival and we serve people living on the coast.’

Aaron also highlighted the fact that the festival provided an opportunity for the RNLI to raise awareness of water safety.

‘We were able to speak to people directly and use the big screens to promote our float to live message,’ he added.

Other local charities to benefit included The Roberts Centre, who were presented with a cheque for £2,500, and Active Communities Network who welcomed a donation of £2,800.

The Roberts Centre chief executive officer, Carole Damper said: ‘This money will help to keep the charity going and respond to families in need. It is amazing that a local event is putting something back into the local area.’

Active Communities Network spokesman, Julian Wadsworth added: ‘The money will support young people with vulnerabilities to take more positive pathways and maximise their potential.’

Since Victorious started it has raised over £182,000 for charity.