BLUES lovers are helping to put a smile on the faces of children who visit Julia's House new hospice in Devizes.

A cheque for £2,500 was handed over by organisers of the first ever Saddleback Blues Festival that was held at Devizes Rugby Club in July.

Rick Kibby from the organising team, who visited the hospice on Thursday, said he was delighted that the all-day event which attracted hundreds of people to the London Road club had been able to help such a good cause.

He said: "It was a very successful event and the organising committee of the Blues Festival would like to thank the people of Devizes for their support on the day and look forward to doing it all again next year.

Ged Montgomery from Julia's House was full of praise for the organisers and the work they put in before and during the festival. He said: " "I know a lot of hard work went in to the organisation of the inaugural Saddleback Blues Festival and congratulate both Devizes Rugby Club and Devizes Sports Club on the tremendous result.

"It's the combined efforts of clubs and events like these that keep us going and help to maintain the future of the hospice in Devizes."

Last year Gazette readers raised more than £100,000 for the hospice which was created in old buildings that were once part of the former Kennet District Council offices at Browfort.

An official opening was held in May when actor Martin Clunes cut the ribbon in the garden of the property which has been totally transformed to make it a place of joy and safety for children with life limiting illnesses and their families.

He praised Gazette readers for their generosity and said: "ACTOR Martin Clunes thanked Gazette readers for their generosity when he visited Devizes today to officially open the new Julia's House children's hospice. "£100,000 is an amazing amount. It is wonderful to have that support from the community. I would like to say thank you very much to all of them. I hope when they see what goes on here they will feel they are getting something back."

People now have the chance to see for themselves the new hospice as an open day is being held on September 6 to give them the chance to tour the building.

A Julia's House spokesman said: "It is a chance to meet staff and tour the brand new Wiltshire hospice to find out more about how their support makes a real difference to children and families in your community."

Tours are free of charge but places are limited so people need to book online at