A GIANT tea party organised by the officers of Christchurch Fire Station has raised more than £1,200 for a local cancer charity.

The Fairmile Road station held the event for Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) with crowds of people visiting to feast on cakes and take part in a raffle and tombola.

Watch manager Matt Kiddell said: “A lot of work went into organising the event but we never dreamed we would raise quite as much as we did, especially when it turned out to be such bad weather.

“As well as having a lot of support from the community who came along on the day, we were really impressed by the kindness of local businesses which also got behind us. Colourstone gave us £100 which paid for all the paper cups, plates and napkins etc, while BH Live, Ringwood Brewery, Two Rivers Meet Leisure Centre and JM Adventures all donated prizes."

The Fire Service paid for all the tea and coffee, while cakes were donated by local cake maker Liz Cook, as well as members of the watch, their families, local supermarkets and members of the community.

DCCF was set up in 2012 to give grants to Dorset-based patients who are struggling financially. The charity offers help with household bills, accommodation costs, travel to and from hospital and short breaks.

Charity trustee Andrea Campbell said: “We were absolutely bowled over when the watch told us what they had done for us and how much money the event had raised. They have an excellent standing in their local community and this was shown by the enormous support they received in this event.

"Their generosity will make a real difference to local families going through some very dark days.”

DCCF is now running its High Five campaign, urging people to donate £5 by texting DCCF00 £5 to 70070. Visit dccf.co.uk to find out more.