THE generous Basingstoke pantomime-going public have raised £6,500 for Sebastian’s Action Trust.
Anvil Arts permitted the trust, which provides ongoing support and respite breaks to families with a seriously-ill child, to collect donations after each performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at The Anvil between December 13 and January 6.
The Gazette’s sponsorship allocation of 25 tickets was also donated to the trust, allowing the families of seriously-ill children from Basingstoke and Andover to enjoy some seasonal fun.
In addition, a family staying in The Bluebells, the UK’s only respite holiday house, was able to attend Snow White as part of their respite stay.
The trust was created in memory of Sebastian Gates, who was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumour at the age of seven in 2001, and died in 2003, aged nine. The trust opened its purpose-built respite house The Bluebells, in North Waltham, in July 2011.
Jane Gates, director of the trust and Sebastian’s mother, said: “As a fairly new charity, being associated with the panto was a fantastic way to raise awareness of our work in the area as well as funds for The Bluebells.
“The funds collected will pay for five families with seriously-ill children to have a break at The Bluebells.
“We would also like to thank The Anvil, the cast and crew of Snow White and, most importantly, all those who attended the pantomime and gave so generously.”