FAMILIES who have had to be evacuated from their homes following a fire will be given a financial boost thanks to a musical visiting their village.

Evenwood is one of several rural communities which has been given the chance to shine in November Club’s musical Beyond the End of the Road which will tour the South Durham area from Saturday, July 14, until Friday, July 27.

Inspired by folk and traditional music, the award-winning show is performed by a professional cast of ten actors and musicians along with residents.

A particular highlight has been the role of the character Molly, which is being shared by schoolgirls Millie Graham, Keeley Octon, Mia Roe and Eleanor Tippey.

But the community took a hit when a serious fire broke out at the haulage yard at Ramshaw Removals, last month, forcing people from six households to move into temporary accommodation.

And when the cast with the performing arts company found out about the fire, they knew they wanted to do something to help.

Profits from the show were meant to be split between organisers Northern Heartlands and promoters at The Randolph Community Centre, but the two organisations have agreed to donate all the money received from ticket sales to a fund set up to help the families instead.

Director of Northern Heartlands, Jill Cole, said she was delighted by the decision and was joined by Durham County Councillor for Evenwood, Heather Smith, who also said the act of kindness was a "lovely gesture".

An investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing but several agencies are working together in the clean-up operation.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “We are continuing to lead multi-agency work to recover and remediate the site. This involves carrying out environmental sampling which is currently being subject to further analysis.

“We will continue to offer advice and support to those residents who are in temporary accommodation until such time as they can return to their homes.”

The play will be held at Evenwood Working Men’s Club on Wednesday, July 18, at 7.30pm. For tickets call 01388-835588 or visit ticketsource.co.uk