A GALA to celebrate 25 years of a Petersfield charity has been called a “great triumph” after raising more than £10,000.

Around 180 people raised their glasses to HomeStart Butser as the Winton House charity celebrated their silver anniversary in style.

The gala at Bedales was the charity’s first and included a champagne reception, auction and live music from Black Cherry Jam.

The charity has provided a lifeline to thousands of struggling families with young children on both sides of Butser since its launch in 1998.

Some of the money raised will help the charity train more “fantastic volunteers”. They offer support to parents who may be struggling with post-natal illness, isolation, disability, mental health issues, bereavement, poverty and other challenges.

The appreciation for their work was reflected in the final total with scheme manager Nicola Winter calling the gala a “fabulous event” and “absolute triumph”.

HomeStart Gala PIC2
The set up in Bedales was incredible (Nicola Winter)

She said: “It was hugely fun and highly successful.

“We often use the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and that was definitely the case with this evening.

“We would like to thank everyone who played a part in such a strong and committed community, making a difference to the lives of our young children and helping parents to be the best they can.”

Guests included representatives from the Petersfield Lions, Food Bank, Bedales, Churchers and town businesses while sponsors included LMS Security Consultants, PainSmith Solicitors and Aspire Pharma.

Entertainment Events provided the bar, contributing £600 to the final sum, while radio personality Steve Hyland was terrific fun as the auctioneer.

Prizes included four nights in Fez for six people, Rory McIlroy-signed golfing equipment and a private tour for six at Balvenie distillery in the Scottish Highlands.