HOSPICES have held their Christmas fairs to raise vital funds for their good work.

Actress Sally Whittaker, who plays Coronation Street’s Sally Webster, opened the fair at St Ann’s Hospice in Little Hulton at the weekend and enjoyed a spot of Christmas shopping.

Around 1,000 guests visited the fair, from which the hospice raised £8,000 in proceeds.

Organiser Margaret Beck said: “It was tremendous. The support we have had from the community has been outstanding.

“Sally was brilliant. She opened the fair, stayed for two hours and spoke to every single patient in our in-patient unit.

“I really want to thank the community, though, because without them and their generosity, there would have been no fair.”

There were more than 30 stalls selling Christmas gifts, while children got their faces painted and had the chance to visit Santa’s grotto.

Bolton Hospice has also held its annual Christmas fair.

Volunteers and hospice workers all donned party hats to sell Christmas gifts.

The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Anthony Connell, visited the hospice to lend his support to the fair and enjoyed looking at all the stalls.

The hospice received an added boost from the children of Brandwood Community Primary School in Deane.

The school is one of the charity’s biggest supporters. Headteacher Rosemary Jones and teacher Catherine Briely have both had loved ones cared for by Bolton Hospice.

With the help of donations from parents, teachers and schoolchildren, the school set up a stall packed with chocolate stocking fillers.

Manning the stall were pupils Levy Brooks, aged 11, Bethany Bailey, 10, Jenna Moore, 10, and Lily Holmes, eight.

steventhompson@thebolton news.co.uk