Horsham’s Capitol Theatre presented a cheque to the town’s Samaritans branch on Tuesday after their pantomime helped to raise more than £4,000 for the charity.
At the theatre’s most recent festive production, Cinderella, the cast would rush off stage and head straight to the exits where they would hold out buckets for people to make their donations.
At a typically expensive time of year, visitors repeatedly dug deep and helped to raise an ‘overwhelming’ sum of £4,406.12.
Sue Jago, director for Horsham and Crawley Samaritans, said: “It’s unbelievable for us, we’re immensely grateful to The Capitol and their generous patrons for this collection.”
All branches of Samaritans are entirely self-funded and while it is possible to receive grants for specific projects it can be harder for them to find the funds to keep the core services running.
There to present the cheque were several members of the cast who gave their time to collect the donations.
Richard Alan, who played Baron Hardup, said: “There was a huge outpouring of generosity. Nobody was pressured but there were fivers going in and even a few twenties.”
He will be further supporting the charity by running in the Barns Green Half Marathon in September.
Nick Mowat, general manager at The Capitol, said: “I like the theatre to feel part of the community; this was an opportunity to give something back to the community.”
The money raised will go towards funding the Horsham and Crawley Samaritans’ phone line which people can call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The branch receives 14,000 calls each year.
The Samaritans can be contacted by calling 08457 90 90 90, 01403 276273 or 01293 515151, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or texting 07725 90 90 90.