Alice in Wonderland panto audiences raise almost £10,000 for children’s cancer charity

The cast of Alice in Wonderland with Harrison Cochrane, who was helped by CLIC Sargent.
The cast of Alice in Wonderland with Harrison Cochrane, who was helped by CLIC Sargent.

Panto fans in South Tyneside have raised almost £10,000 for a children’s cancer charity.

The Customs House, in South Shields, chose CLIC Sargent as its nominated charity at the annual pantomime season – and the “little panto with the big heart” has delivered again after holding collections after each performance.

Ray Spencer hands a cheque to Dee Tyler, area fundraising manager for CLIC Sargent.

Ray Spencer hands a cheque to Dee Tyler, area fundraising manager for CLIC Sargent.

The theatre welcomed 26,000 people through its doors over Christmas to see Alice in Wonderland, and the panto goers raised a massive £9,731.06 by dropping their change – and often notes – into the collection buckets.

Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, who also writes, directs and stars in the annual pantomime, said: “The collection reflects the warm hearts and generosity of our audiences and we are delighted to be able to support this valued and valuable work.”

Every year the Customs House, which is itself a charitable trust, raise funds for a chosen cause, and this year’s total is its highest yet.

Mr Spencer added: “We are delighted to be handing so much over to CLIC. The work they do is just fantastic and we’re thrilled the people who support our pantomime dug deep and helped to support such a worthy cause – together we really can make a difference.”

We are delighted to be handing so much over to CLIC. The work they do is just fantastic and we’re thrilled the people who support our pantomime dug deep and helped to support such a worthy cause – together we really can make a difference.

Ray Spencer

Every day 10 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. CLIC Sargent helps provide support to those children, teenagers, young adults and their families, helping them to get the most out of life while offering clinical, practical, financial and emotional support.

Dee Tyler, area fundraising manager for CLIC Sargent, added: “We are extremely thankful to the Customs House for choosing to support CLIC Sargent this year with the panto collections and want them, and the generous people who attended the shows, to know how much their help is appreciated.

“This wonderful total is enough to allow CLIC Sargent to support two and a half families through their treatment: emotionally, financially and medically.

“Thanks also go out to the volunteer collectors who gave up their time, over a very busy Christmas period, to support the charity. This huge figure would 
not have been reached without their help.”

Natasha Haws as Alice in Alice in Wonderland at the Customs House.

Natasha Haws as Alice in Alice in Wonderland at the Customs House.