THE force was strong for a Corsham fundraising group in 2012 as they raised a record breaking £21,500.
Around 40 volunteer members of Charity Sci-Fi dedicate their weekends to travelling across much of the South West and beyond, dressed as iconic characters, collecting for good causes.
The group’s roots date back to 2007 when its chairman, Adrian Davies, 53, had a Dalek made for him by his brother Gavin.
Mr Davies would appear in costume at charitable events and eventually this led to the creation of Charity Sci-Fi when other enthusiasts got involved.
Last year the group boldly went where they hadn’t before, breaking the £20,000 fundraising barrier, supporting charities such as Wiltshire Young Carers Project, the British Heart Foundation, 16-30 PHAB, Children in Need, Great Western Air Ambulance and Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Mr Davies, of Southcroft Road, said: “In 2011 we struggled to beat £10,000, but last year it has been phenomenal, as we’ve more than doubled 2011’s total. A big congratulations needs to go to the whole group – we are just a big family and everyone has their particular part to play.
“Their dedication creating their own costumes and going to all these places every weekend never fails to amaze me.”
The group is now taking a well earned break, but in December they appeared at Corsham’s Christmas lights switch-on and also visited Children’s Hospice South West in Wraxall.
Mr Davies, a part-time civil servant who used to be in the Army, said: “There was a little girl who wasn’t very well but she was quite taken by my K-9 and just loved it. The smile on her face was just amazing, I didn’t need anything else at all for Christmas after seeing that.”
One of the group’s big fundraisers is their annual Corsham Sci-Fi Family Funday, which raised £6,620 last year when 4,000 people visited Corsham Community Centre and Springfield Leisure Centre for the event.
Special guests included former Doctor Who actor Colin Baker, Red Dwarf stars Chris Barrie and Danny John-Jules and Star Wars’ Richard LeParmentier.
The annual event, which started in 2009, sees Corsham taken over by Stormstroopers, Cybermen and Daleks, among other sci-fi favourites.
Mr Davies said: “It is going to be a bit different this year as we don’t know if the venue will be free as building work for the campus might be going on.
“One day, I’d like to get Tom Baker from Doctor Who and Dave Prowse from Star Wars, as they are some of the most iconic in the business. The celebs we get are always great, we don’t really cover their expenses but we give them a decent meal and somewhere to stay.”
Charity Sci-Fi would like to hear from anyone who wants to volunteer for events in 2013.
Members can lend costumes to begin with.
Mr Davies said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved, those who donate as well as businesses such as Rudloe Hall Hotel, Manor Garage and Memory Lane Cars, who support us.
“I don’t want to single any costumes out as they are all great but I guess if it wasn’t for my Dalek Phil, we wouldn’t be here now. So that one does have a special significance to me.”
For more information, visit www.corshamscifi.co.uk