MORE THAN 500 people attended a community festival on June 1, the first of its kind, aiming to raise money and show appreciation for Salisbury Hospice Charity.

The launch of the Loving Arms Festival, organised by the Pester family in memory of Anne Pester, saw live music, a hog roast, an auction and a raffle raising more than £7,300.

It was coordinated after the "amazing service" that was provided to both Anne and her family, whilst she was treated by hospice staff in January 2018.

Richard Pester said the hospice team were "brilliant and caring", adding: "We would like to repay them in some small way by fundraising to help keep the high standards and this amazing service available to others."

In a video interview, Martin Pester, Anne's son, added: “We felt that the way we were cared for, and our mum was cared for, we wanted to pay something back.

"We knew how important it was for the hospice to have donations because they’re only funded partly by the NHS and partly by donations.

"We thought we could have an evening event to try and raise some money.”

The event will become an annual festival, with community fundraising bringing people together to support their local hospice.

By Cecilia Lockyer