A NEW Kia Picanto is the top prize in this year’s Stars Appeal Christmas Raffle, supporting the £1million MRI scanner campaign.

The star prize, supplied for the ninth year running by local car dealers FJ Chalke of Mere, is a city car that offers low running costs and a seven-year warranty.

The second prize is £1,000 and the third prize is £500, and there are many more cash prizes.

Every ticket sold will help raise funds towards the cost of a second MRI scanner for Salisbury District Hospital.

The hospital’s existing scanner is running at full capacity, meaning patients sometimes have to wait longer for essential scans.

A new scanner would benefit about 10,000 people every year, by cutting waiting times and helping hospital staff make more accurate diagnoses more quickly, without patients needing to travel to other hospitals.

James Chalke, managing director of FJ Chalke, said: “Having seen first-hand how local people benefit from projects funded by the Stars Appeal, like the new breast unit, the two new CT scanners and neonatal family accommodation unit, we were delighted to offer our support once again.”

Gemma Heath, events and community fundraiser for the Stars Appeal, said: “The Christmas raffle is an opportunity to support the Stars Appeal – Salisbury Hospital’s Charity, with the chance of driving away in a brand new car.

“Every ticket sold will help make a difference for patients at Salisbury Hospital. We need people to buy tickets, and to encourage their friends to do the same.”

Tickets are £1 each, and are available from the Stars Appeal Bookshop in the main entrance at Salisbury District Hospital and at FJ Chalke of Mere.

The Stars Appeal is looking for volunteers to help sell tickets to their friends, family and colleagues. If you can help, call The Stars Appeal office on 01722 429005. Ticket stubs must be returned to the Stars Appeal by January 5 to be included in the draw which takes place on January 9.