Three local charities, two medical and one that supports domestic abuse victims, recently shared £3,000. It was raised by raffle tickets bought by members of the popular Felixstowe Community Choir.

Pauline Meadows, from Woolverstone Macmillan Cancer Centre, Deborah Johnson from Ipswich Lighthouse Women's Aid and Heather Bentley, representing Walton Parish Nursing, each accepted a cheque for £1,000, at the choir meeting on Monday 30 January.

Over four years the choir has raised £16,500 for charities from their weekly and concert raffles, as well as supporting other charities and organisations with guest appearances at fund-raising events.

“The members decided last year to support local charities and, as always, voted for their favourites,” explained choir founder, Rachel Sloane. “The Orwell Hotel, where we meet each week, also contributed the £150 fee for the use of the Elizabeth Suite for our Christmas Family and Friends concert. Our raffle is organised each week by Rosemary Bird, one of the choir’s founder members, and she does a wonderful job, with help from donations of raffle prizes by members.”

The choir meets on Mondays throughout the year (including Bank Holidays) at the Orwell Hotel and anyone over 18 is welcome to attend. Singers pay £4 per week, and there is the charity raffle. There are usually round eighty members attending, led by conductor Emily Bennett.

The choir members have decided their adopted charities for 2017 will be FACTS, (the Felixstowe Area Community Transport Scheme), Suffolk MIND and Stepping Stones, mental health support services, based at Sproughton.