SEVERAL Hampshire businesses battled it out to raise close to £15,000 for Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices.

Among them was Memo Events, based on Basing View, who for one day took over the charity’s store in Chineham Shopping Centre, dressed as characters from ITV’s hit drama Downton Abbey.

Naomi House and Jacksplace, based in Sutton Scotney, holds regular store wars events, inviting local companies to take over the running of its shops for a day to raise cash.

Shop sales reached a massive £9,481, while online sales hit £5,321.

Memo Events competed against Symantec, in Basingstoke, Lloyds Bank, in Andover, Barclays, in Southampton, New Look, in Eastleigh, Gerrell & Hard, in Fareham, and Microlink, in Winchester.

Delighted with his team’s efforts, Memo Events director Matthew Larcome, dressed as the Earl of Grantham, said: “We love any opportunity to get involved with a local charity like Naomi House.”

Explaining why he chose the Downton Abbey theme, Matthew said: “I’m a big fan and I thought it would be original.”

With the drama back on our TV screens, Matthew thought the Downton Abbey theme would draw more customers to the store.”

It seems the young entrepreneur was right as Memo Event’s store target was £900 in takings, which the team of five beat with a total of £1,242, Jill McDonagh, community and business area fundraiser, said: “Store Wars is a great way for local businesses to raise much needed funds for Naomi House.

“It’s also a great team-building event and helps to boost staff morale.

“Each year, we need to raise £7million to run our whole service and deliver our plans. However, we receive less than 10 per cent of our income from the Government.

“The support we receive from individuals, groups, and businesses like those that took part means, we can provide care and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, free of charge, when children, young adults and their families from our region, need it most.

“The total raised on the day was just shy of £15,000 and does not at this point include match funding which will come from Barclays and Lloyds.”