JULY 23: A PUB in Gorse Hill raised more than £2,000 for a new fundraising drive bringing the total from the first Swindon Cares week to around £12,500.

The Swiss Chalet in Chapel Street dedicated a whole week of activities for Swindon Cares, which aimed to raise £10,000 for the NSPCC, Age Concern and the Swindon Cancer Appeal.

The scheme was co-ordinated by Nationwide, Zurich Financial Services, the Evening Advertiser, the GWR Community Trust, BBC Radio Swindon, the Rotary Club of Swindon, Swindon Council and the Swindon Chamber of Commerce.

Organisers are delighted the initiative has exceeded its target and hope Swindon Cares continues for many years to come. There are plans to resurrect the Swindon half marathon next year.

Regulars at the Swiss Chalet dug deep to raise £2,243.37 while enjoying a host of fun activities organised by John Honeyman, the pub's landlord for the last two years.

"I enjoy organising events," he said. "But it's our customers who make them the success they are.

"Gorse Hill has a strong community and locals are happy to get stuck in and support an event, especially one which is raising money for such a worthwhile and local cause."

The week of fundraising fun culminated in an early festive season when customers celebrated Christ-mas Eve on Friday night, has Christmas Dinner on Saturday lunchtime and New Year was seen in on Saturday night with revellers singing while standing on the tables.

Other activities held through the week were a darts night, a quiz night a Casino night on a Bullseye evening and a children's spaghetti eating competition.

Mr Honeyman presented the cheque to his managing director, James Arkell, who is also the chairman of Swindon Cares.

Mr Arkell said: "This is a fantastic amount to raise in such a short space of time.

"We congratulate John and his team for organising the events, and for his terrific customers who all threw themselves into the spirit of the week and raised such a huge amount of money," Mr Arkell said.

If you had an event for the Swindon Cares' fund-raising, and have not told us about it, then call the newsdesk on Swindon 528111.