RAISE your voice at a festive service this Christmas and help raise money to support Wiltshire people affected by strokes.

The Christmas carol service in aid of the Stroke Association will take place in the College Chapel at 7pm on Thursday, December 19, with seasonal celebrity readings and wonderful musical performances, as well as traditional carols.

The evening, which the Gazette and Herald is delighted to support, will include performances from the internationally renowned classical singer Carly Paoli, who lives near Devizes, and soloist Tom Elwes from Tewkesbury Abbey Schola Cantorum. The Marlborough Stroke Association Christmas Choir will perform under choirmaster Adam Staines, alongside the Pinewood School Chapel Choir, under Director of Music Niki Bell.

Rachel Inglefield, from Marlborough, chairman of A Celebration of Christmas said: “I know first-hand the devastating impact that stroke brings to individuals and their families as I had a stroke just seven years ago, 11 days after the birth of my son. We are thrilled to be bringing this magical event to Marlborough and have been overwhelmed by the support of local businesses, from Marlborough Summer School who are providing the food, to Copy Colour who are printing our material, OKA who are decorating the outside of the chapel, and Twilight Trees who are bringing some Christmas sparkle with their magical LED trees.”

Radio and television broadcaster Chris Tarrant and best-selling poet Charly Cox will read a lesson, and stroke survivor Martin Stephen will give an address, along with Juliet Bouverie the chief executive of the charity.

Guests will be invited to arrive from 6pm to enjoy music from the Aldbourne Brass Band and festive refreshments provided by Marlborough College Summer School, MyAppleJuice, Waitrose and Wiltshire Liqueur. The chapel will be adorned with spectacular decorations provided by OKA and sparkling trees from Twilight Trees.

A mirror tree donated by Aldbourne Post Office Café and Deli and beautifully decorated by Susie Watson will be placed in the entrance to the chapel, to welcome guests attending the service.

This is an advanced ticket-only event, with tickets on sale for £20 each from www.celebrationofchristmas.co.uk. A limited number are available now at the White Horse Bookshop on Marlborough’s High Street. In addition, donations can be made at www.celebrationofchristmas.co.uk to help decorate a Christmas tree being gifted to the stroke ward at Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

Each donation made online will be represented by a beautiful decoration or light on the tree.

Every penny from ticket sales will go to help the Stroke Association’s work in Wiltshire, thanks to help from sponsors, including lead sponsor Cazenove Capital is lead sponsor, with other supporters including: Aldbourne Nursing Home, Aldbourne Post Office Café and Deli, Arbonne, Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors, Barbury Shooting School, Barnes Coaches, Carter Lauren Construction, Chris Jelf Photography, Copy Colour, Earthline, Gazette & Herald, Haine and Smith Opticians, Hiscox, Kidson-Trigg Auctioneers, Knight Frank, Lawson Johnston Property, Local Uncovered, Marlborough College, Marlborough College Summer School, Mojo & McCoy, Moss Fallon, MyAppleJuice, Natural Animal Feeds, NFU Mutual, OKA, Pinewood School, Pinos Restaurant, Ramsbury Electrical, Redrow Homes, Savernake Teenagers Christmas Disco, Savernake Dental, Savills, Susie Watson, the James Dyson Foundation, Twilight Trees, Vivid Audio Visual, Waitrose, Weatherbys Hamilton, the White Horse Bookshop, and Wiltshire Liqueur.

Tom Allen Head of the Oxford Office at Cazenove Capital said: “We are delighted to be the lead sponsor for the inaugural 'A Celebration of Christmas’ carol service. We know that the Stroke Association relies on the financial and voluntary support of businesses and individuals, and so we are proud to be supporting them in their vital work rebuilding lives after stroke.”

Amy Spencer, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Every five minutes, stroke destroys lives and it can strike anyone – young, old and anyone in between. The Stroke Association is here to support people to rebuild their lives after stroke, but this is only possible with the generosity of our amazing supporters. We would like to thank everyone who is helping to create and support A Celebration of Christmas – it promises to be a very special occasion.”