Xmas market brings festive cheer to Benenden

A Christmas market is to be held at Benenden Hospital on Thursday (November 28) to help raise funds for Kent-based homelessness charity Porchlight.

The hospital’s award-winning Atrium will be turned into a temporary market for local businesses and stallholders to sell their goods from 11am to 3pm.

Body Shop, Lily’s Lollipops, Biddenden Vineyard, Cranbrook Health & Wellbeing and Katie Briggs Art will be among the exhibitors.

Patients, staff and visitors will be able to buy gifts including candles, Christmas wreaths, wrappings paper, cards, jewellery, books and even “reindeer food”.

There will also be carol-singing by Staplehurst Primary School, a raffle, tombola, a guess-the-weight-of-the-cake competition, mince pies and mulled juice.

The fundraising event has been organised by Benenden Hospital’s health and wellbeing committee in support of Porchlight, the hospital’s chosen charity for the second year running.

A Porchlight spokesman said: “Christmas can be a particularly difficult time to be homeless. If you’re on the streets, it’s impossible to escape the damp and cold and you never feel safe.

“When it comes to doing something about this, we’re all in it together. It’s why the support of local businesses is so important to what we do.

“We’re really grateful to all the businesses taking part, and to Benenden Hospital for continuing to step up and make a difference to the lives of homeless and vulnerable people.”

Last year, Benenden Hospital raised more than £7,000 for Porchlight from a number of fundraising events including a sponsored sleepout, quiz night, raffle and Christmas lights switch-on by TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones.

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