Record-breaking funds raised at Dorchester Festival

FUNDS raised for charity at the biennial Dorchester Festival have topped £45,000 – more than twice their previous record.

The Dorchester Festival, a community festival run entirely by local volunteers and based around Dorchester Abbey, was held from 1st to 10th May and more than 4,000 people attended almost 50 events.

Proceeds from the event were split equally between Dorchester Abbey and family support charity Parents And Children Together (PACT). The final sum donated to PACT was £23,874.

Highlights of the festival included sellout events by The Tallis Scholars and John Rutter, a CGI evening with OSCAR winner Ben Morris, a Food Fair with cookery demonstrations and a wide variety of children’s entertainment including a scarecrow trail and duck race!

On the second day of the festival, 10 intrepid charity supporters abseiled down the 100ft tower at Dorchester Abbey, raising over £15k in sponsorship to add to the total.

Abseilers included PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick, Rector of Dorchester Abbey Sue Booys, former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire Richard Dick and South Oxfordshire District Council Leader John Cotton.

PACT has been building and strengthening families since 1911 through adoption, long-term fostering, award-winning therapeutic services and community projects across London and the south.

It hopes to use the funds raised from the festival to provide therapeutic support services to Oxfordshire families to help adopted and fostered children to address painful issues from their past.

Jan Fishwick said: “We are overwhelmed by the final total raised and would like to thank the festival organisers for choosing PACT, and for holding such an amazing festival.

“This money will help many PACT families in Oxfordshire. Children who have been adopted or fostered have usually had a traumatic start in life and our award-winning therapeutic services help the whole family come to terms with what has happened and to look forward to a bright future together.”

Festival Director Steph Forman said: “We are delighted to have raised such a significant amount of money for Dorchester Abbey and PACT and have been thrilled by the huge audiences who have come along to support us this year.  We’d like to thank our sponsors, advertisers and, most of all, all the volunteers who make this event possible.”