Bucket collections at the Bournemouth Pantomime have raised more than £9,000 for Variety, the Children’s Charity and BH Live. Collections were made following 48 performances of Sleeping Beauty starring actors Rita Simons, from ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ and ‘Eastenders’, and ‘Brookside’ star Jennifer Ellison who shared the role of the wicked fairy godmother Carabosse.

The £9,453 is shared equally, with Variety’s half going towards a replacement Sunshine Coach that is urgently needed at Beaucroft Special School in Wimborne. BH Live will use their money to provide underprivileged children with access to the arts.

Frances Cornelius, Chair of Variety Wessex said:

“Huge thanks to audience members for donating, Martin Dodd and UK Productions, Noel Brodie and the dancers, front of house managers Rob and Linda and, of course, the Variety Committee including Judy, Avril, Lorraine, Joan, Phil, Reda, Kate and Joe who, no matter what the weather, have been down at the Theatre twice every day to shake the buckets”.

Pat Coyne, BH Live’s Director of Venues and Events said:

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of all who have donated and thank everyone for their contribution. This will be used to develop our creative learning programme and enable underprivileged young people to enjoy cultural activities.”