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Bumper weekend of virtual activity raises £7,000

Weldmar’s Big Weekend ran across the bank holiday weekend

An estimated £7,000 has been raised for Weldmar Hospicecare over a bank holiday weekend that included everything from a virtual silent disco to a Dorset Knob eating competition.

Virtual Quayfest and ‘The Big Fat Weymouth Quiz’ also featured in ‘Weldmar’s Big Weekend’.

Kate Scott from Shaftesbury was crowned the Dorset Knob Eating Champion 2020, munching her way through eight and a half of the biscuits in one minute, in a competition organised by Dorset Tea and the Dorset Knob Throwing Festival


The virtual competition was organised by Dorset Tea and the Dorset Knob Throwing Festival, with participants from across the UK, and attracted hundreds of viewers on Facebook through the day.

Kate told Weldmar, “It was great fun!  Just what we need at the moment.  Eating eight and a half knobs was harder than I thought, but it was worth the effort to keep the trophy in Dorset. It was great to win and I’m looking forward to receiving the trophy and hopefully no more knobs until next years competition.”

Phoebe Double from Dorset Tea added, “The Dorset Knob Eating competition was a huge success with 73 contestants battling to be the Champion Knob nosher all in aid of Weldmar Hospicecare.  The competition was streamed live on Dorset Tea’s Facebook page for people to watch across the world which increased donations over the target of £1,000 to £1,389.”

The competition attracted national media coverage, including mentions on Radio 4’s Today programme, Chris Moyles’ show on Radio X, and articles on the BBC website, the i, and LadBible.

The weekend also saw Loving Weymouth & Portland on Facebook broadcast their second Virtual Quayfest music festival, in lieu of the regular live music event that takes place on bank holiday weekends on the quayside in Weymouth.

Virtual fundraising by The Leggomen

A number of Dorset musicians and singers performed live through the twelve hour extravaganza, which also featured a full band performance by The Leggomen, despite all members of the band being in remote locations!

Organisers of Quayfest also ran ‘The Big Fat Weymouth Quiz’ on Saturday evening, generating more donations for Weldmar.

Despite the warm weather on Saturday, Jo Thomson of Slimdance Dorchester led a six hour Silent Disco and Danceathon, with participants joining in on Zoom or Facebook.

Jo says, “Everyone did so well and the time actually went really quickly. From an initial, ‘I’ll just throw it out there’ idea, I can’t believe how well it worked out! From the technical aspect, the participants and most importantly, the donations.  I think, with some more donations going direct to Weldmar, we have raised about £700! Our target was £500. That is just brilliant and so generous of everyone. I think it just goes to show that despite the current uncertainty and strange times, people still want to help and so many people have a warm connection with Weldmar.”

The weekend started with a live Facebook show on Friday evening, which featured a special message from celebrity supporter Martin Clunes, recorded at his Beaminster home.  He thanked Weldmar staff for ‘making sure nobody goes without the specialist care’ we provide, and Weldmar supporters for the generosity in supporting the charity at this time.

Britain’s Got Talent finalists Danny Posthill and Graeme Matthews also provided specially recorded sketches for the show, whilst local entertainer Steve Whale led a VE Day singalong.

Talented staff at Weldmar also featured – there was a performance from the Weldmar Community Choir, and Day Services Lead Jenny Wood performed ‘You’ve Got A Friend’.

More than £400 was made in donations during the show, which you can watch here.

Caroline Hamblett, Weldmar Hospicecare CEO, says, “It was a really great weekend of entertainment, and we really appreciate the efforts of all of the organisers and participants in all of the events that took place to raise funds for us.  The support from the local community has been humbling so far, but we need that support to carry on as we adapt to our plans to cope with the continuing social distancing restrictions that will still affect fundraising events, and our shops when they re-open.”

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