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Panto crowds amaze charity in record run

Crowds at a record-breaking Horsham panto raised what charity bosses are calling an “amazing” amount to help their work.

Audiences dropped £7,587.13 into buckets during the run of Beauty and the Beast at the town’s Capitol.

The money will help Horsham and Crawley Samaritans in its work.

Sue Jago, Director of Samaritans of Horsham and Crawley, said: “We’re immensely grateful to The Capitol pantomime cast and their generous patrons for this collection.

“As a local branch we are responsible for raising all the money needed to stay open and whilst it is possible to obtain grants for specific projects, it is much more difficult to find the funds needed to keep our core service running.

“This amazing sum of money will go a long way towards supporting our callers this year.”

Nick Mowat, general manager of The Capitol said: “A huge thank you to all who came to see our record breaking Beauty and The Beast.”

“On behalf of Horsham District Council, The Capitol and the Beauty and The Beast Company, I  was delighted to present this cheque to such a vital organisation. The work that the charity does is invaluable and to be in a position where, thanks to our audience’s kindness we are able to help provide such a significant level of support is immensely gratifying and humbling.”Samaritans of Horsham and Crawley has been supporting the local community from its Centre in Denne Road for 41 years and, with the national organisation of 200 other branches, provide a round the clock listening service to support those experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that may lead to suicide. Its mission is to reduce the number of deaths by suicide. Every year the Horsham & Crawley branch takes more than 14,000 calls, welcomes about 130 personal visitors to the branch and answers more than a thousand  emails and texts. Samaritans can be contacted on: 116 123, a free to call number from landlines, mobiles and phone boxes. The local number is 01403 276273.

Pictured are: Caroline Thomas and Mike Goble from cast, Paul Sherar chairman, Richard Alan cast member, Sue Jago, Nick Mowat, Capitol general manager and  Roger Dugdale, new director from March 1.

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