Flirt's 14-hour singalong event raises cash for charity

Bournemouth Echo: IN TUNE: Hannah Kilgore and friends sing at Flirt Cafe Bar IN TUNE: Hannah Kilgore and friends sing at Flirt Cafe Bar

AROUND 65 people took part in a 14-hour, non-stop ‘open mic’ marathon.

Flirt Cafe Bar at Bourne-mouth’s Triangle held the event to raise money for Dorset Blind Association, which hosts monthly socials at the venue.

Co-owner Rob Hazell sang the first and last songs and introduced the acts from 9am-11pm.

All ages from five to 70 took part, with singers, poets and storytellers raising £550.

Rob said: “It was a tiring day, hosting between the acts and encouraging support for the association, but the atmosphere was extremely community-spirited and fun.

“Volunteers from the association were with us the whole time, Flirt customer Gabriella Novella donated 100 cupcakes to sell, and there was some amazing talent seen, too.”

Stars included 11-year-old Hannah Kilgore and 13-year-old Nicole McNally and her guitarist Calvin. The chairman of the Dorset Blind Association Trust, John Andrews, entertained with his guitar.

Rob said: “Knowing the people from the association has also educated us into the needs of the people they help. We have created a version of our menu on A3 pages using colours and font sizes which help people with visual impairment feel independent when they visit Flirt.”

Jaya Da Costa, fundraising manager for Dorset Blind Association, said: “The work of our association is life-changing.

“We make life better for 1,000 blind and partially sighted people each month with just a small team of staff, and over 500 dedicated volunteers.”

She added: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure the funding we need to cover increasing demand, and have had to make staff cuts.

“We’re working as hard as we can to limit the effect of the cuts on the people we help, and in turn, the demand on local health and social care services. “The contribution from local community and businesses like Flirt is more important than ever, so we’re delighted at the amount raised by Rob and the team.”

Anyone else who wants to fundraise or donate can visit dorsetblind.org.uk or call Jaya on 01202 712864.

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