A WILTSHIRE arts charity is celebrating a reprieve from collapse after it managed to raise £20,000 to keep going this year.

At a fundraising coffee morning at the Rick Stein restaurant in Marlborough last Friday another £1,020 was added to Arts Together's annual target of £90,000.

Belinda Chandler of the charity said it was increasingly difficult to raise cash in the current climate as sponsors and organisations are inundated for requests for cash from an increasing number of projects.

She said: "There's a sense of relief that we have raised enough money for now but it is always going to be a struggle to get funding.

"Taking part in Arts Together is fun and important - that's why we do it."

The charity she said fights social isolation and loneliness which tends to affect older people who are no longer able to fully participate in the life of their communities. By offering creative workshops and art sessions meaning and fulfulliment is given to people who might not have enjoyed life following illness, disability or the ageing process.

Karolyne Fudge-Malik of the charity was delighted by the turnout with friends, relatives and a large number of supporters filling the restaurant for the morning event.

She said Arts Together has bases in Bradford on Avon, Devizes, Marlborough, Melksham, Pewsey and Trowbridge and provide 72 places for people taking part in the weekly arts sessions.

The sessions are run by trained professional artists who insist the participants don't have to be arty to take part, just willing to try something new.

Activities include painting, paper making, collages and drawing with the main benefit in being an end to loneliness and social isolation.

Belinda Chandler said the charity was on the brink of ending its work six weeks ago but had managed to raise the shortfall thanks to Trusts, sponsors, supporters and the general public. Details at www.artstogether.co.uk