FUNDRAISING NEWS: Help a London Child raises £1m

CLAIRE SAMES

Capital FM's Help a London Child Easter fundraising event raised more than £1 million.

Help a London Child, the grant-giving organisation that funds children's play and helps kids with special needs, raised the money despite having to make last-minute changes to the two-day fundraising schedule following the death of the Queen Mother.

The charity had planned to run the event on Saturday and Sunday but had to cancel Sunday's activity, moving it forward to the bank holiday Monday.

Various activities took place over the course of the two days on Capital FM and Capital Gold, spurred on by Help a London Child's patron Chris Tarrant, plus DJs Margherita Taylor, Foxy and Martin Collins.

Activities included live on-air auctions for items donated by celebrities, events and companies.

A Celine Dion platinum diamond-studded disc made by Aspreys raised £70,000.

The Canadian singer matched the figure, donating a further £70,000.

The Sun raised more than £9,000 via its phone-line competition to win lunch with Gareth Gates.

Meanwhile, Jo Chin from Windsor paid £7,900 to have lunch with Will Young, Foxy and Nicky Chapman at Soho House in London.

One Mick Hucknell fan paid £3,000 to be serenaded by her idol, and listeners donated £25 per person to attend Ronan Keating's live acoustic set on Easter Saturday in the Capital living room.

Thirty "once-in-a-lifetime

packages were auctioned, including a stay at the Hilton in the presidential suite, stage passes for Capital FM's Party in the Park, which raised more than £8,000, and VIP days at Royal Ascot.

The Help a London Child Hall of Fame ran throughout the weekend. Callers pledged money to hear a favourite track.

Additional fundraisers around London included Thorpe Park, the Whitgift Centre in Croydon, as well as various restaurants, bars, clubs and retailers.

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