A Bridport charity group is celebrating having raised more than £100,000 for a local children’s hospice over 17 years.

Julia’s House is a charity dedicated to supporting the families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions across Dorset and Wiltshire.

It has five fundraising teams – called Friends Groups – across Dorset who organise fundraising event in support of the charity’s work.

One such group is led by husband-and-wife team, Chris and Judy Munden, and they run twice-weekly stalls at Bridport United Church selling hand-knitted goods, second hand clothes and jewellery.

Mr Munden said: “We first got to know Julia’s House when Judy visited the Dorset hospice with her Inner Wheel club.

"It was a case of ‘Once bitten, forever smitten!’ It never ceases to amaze me how somewhere with the word 'hospice' in the title can be a place of such happiness, such love and such hope. Julia's House is so much more than a hospice!

“Soon after Judy’s visit I held an annual dinner for the organisation I was President of, and we raised £1,000, which was the first cheque we ever took to Julia’s House.”

The Bridport Friends Group fundraises at local events throughout the year, including fetes and country fairs, youth football tournaments, horse shows and golf clubs.

A Black and White Ball organised by the group raised £3,000 and this year’s annual Christmas Fair held by Highlands End Holiday Park raised £2,500 from ticket sales and stall costs.

A particular highlight for the couple was a three-day music festival held at Upton House in 2019, where soprano Katherine Jenkins OBE was singing to raise funds for Julia’s House.

Mr Munden added: “Volunteers were needed to man a stall at the event for the charity. Being utter fans, we put ourselves forward. We sold programmes and got to watch the rehearsal and performance. It was also a huge honour to meet Julia’s House Young Ambassador, Ebony Robinson, who was cared for by the charity until her eighteenth birthday.

“Ebony has a rare neurological condition that affects her movement and speech and was virtually carried out onto the stage to present a bouquet to Katherine. There were no dry eyes that night!”

The Julia’s House charity receives just eight per cent funding from the government, relying mainly on the local community, through donations, fundraising, charity shop sales and gifts in Wills.

More information about the charity can be found on Julia's House website:  https://www.juliashouse.org/