THE Force was with Ark Cancer Centre Charity volunteers when they teamed up with members of UK Garrison and Festival Place staff for a special Star Wars event.

The charity, which is raising £5million towards a state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre, collected nearly £1,300 after generous shoppers gave donations in exchange for having a photograph taken with a number of characters from the hit science fiction saga including stormtroopers, Darth Vader and Princess Leia, earlier this month.

The UK Garrison team has appeared at thousands of events over the last 15 years to help raise funds for good causes.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “This was a terrific two days for the charity. I am grateful to the wonderful UK Garrison members and team at Festival Place, our fantastic volunteers, and the generous members of the public who supported the Star Wars Stormtrooper Parade event.

“The UK Garrison members are all volunteers, and on behalf of the charity, I would like to thank them for giving up their time and putting on what was a memorable, entertaining and very popular and successful event. To raise nearly £1,300 is a real boost to the charity.

“I would also like to thank our great volunteers, including many from the Basingstoke Deane, Basingstoke, and Basingstoke Loddon Rotary Clubs.”

Steven Connolly, centre director of Festival Place, said: “We are delighted that the UK Garrison Star Wars event was popular with our visitors, and a great success in terms of raising funds and greater awareness of the charity appeal and the treatment centre project.”