YARM'S Princess Alexandra Auditorium has raised almost £2,000 for Teesside-based charity, Zoë’s Place, through bucket collections at the 750-seat performance venue.

Earlier this year, the auditorium announced that Zoë’s Place would be its charity partner and fundraising beneficiary, with collection buckets at each performance to raise donations for the organisation.

Despite venues and performances being affected by the UK’s lockdown period and reduced capacity rules, the Princess Alexandra Auditorium audiences have donated £1,887.13.

Zoë's Place is an independent registered charity providing palliative, respite, and end of life care to babies and infants aged from birth to five years, who are suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. The organisation relies on public support to raise the £1.3m it costs to run every year. Tight budgets mean that currently, the hospice can only afford to open three nights a week, leaving families with poorly children without a vital lifeline.

Dan Brookes, auditorium manager at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, said: “Despite the sudden closure of the auditorium due to Covid-19, we have still managed to raise an outstanding amount of money for a fantastic cause, Zoë’s Place.

“The charity does extraordinary work in the Teesside area for poorly children and their families, so it was very important to us to give back to those in need. 2020 has been a strange year for us all, and I’m pleased that this donation will help the charity at a time when fundraising has been more difficult.”

Rachael Bareham, community and events fundraiser at Zoë’s Place, said: “Fundraising is at the core of our organisation, without help from kind-hearted members of the public we couldn’t offer the support we do to as many families as we do. This year has been a bit of an anomaly, and now more than ever, we need the support of local people and businesses like the Princess Alexandra Auditorium.

“On behalf of Zoë’s Place, I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Dan and the team at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, as well as anyone who donated using the collection buckets.”