WEST Berkshire Mencap’s annual raceday has been declared as the best so far, helping to raise more than £30,000.
More than 300 people attended Friday’s event at Newbury Racecourse, which serves as the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
Guests enjoyed a three-course meal plus the opportunity to network and to rub shoulders with celebrities including West Berkshire Mencap patrons Lorraine Chase, chef Daniel Galmiche, EastEnders actor Ricky Groves and former Reading FC player Mick Gooding.
Supporters also enjoyed a three-course meal and a Rock Choir performance. A silent and a live auction enabled guests to bid for lots including a two-course meal for 10 donated by The Merry Kitchen, a Downton Abbey Experience for two, a holiday in Polis, Cyprus, and a gardener for a day.
Money is still coming in, but organisers have said that the event has raised in excess of £30,000.
The chief executive of West Berkshire Mencap, Leila Ferguson, said it had been a brilliant day.
She said: “We’ve all been blown away by everyone’s generosity.
“We’re indebted to everyone who came, our wonderful staff and volunteers plus local businesses who donated fantastic raffle prizes.
“It is thanks to you that we have raised this brilliant sum which will help us to sustain and improve the services we provide locally for people with learning disabilities.
“Lorraine Chase and Ricky Groves did a rousing job of selling Champagne table to table. Each glass cost £20 but included a label which gave the chance to win a necklace and earring set worth more than £800.
“We’ve already sold many tables for next year’s event and would urge anyone who wants to enjoy our 2018 raceday to book as soon as possible. There’s a discount for early birds.”
Mencap provides services to people in the district with learning disabilities, their families and carers.