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Cumbria park’s ceilidh reels in £8,500 charity windfall

Ceilidh co-organisers Ellen Cartwright (left) and Malissa Murphy of Silverdale holiday park welcome guests to the event

[G]ay Gordons and Gypsy Reels have helped a local charity to the tune of £8,500 – thanks to what a south Cumbria holiday park describes as its “cracker of a ceilidh”.

Now Silverdale holiday park has issued a big thank-you to the many local residents who supported its recent dance night for the Cumbria branch of Pancreatic Cancer UK.

The evening’s fundraising total, said park owner Michael Holgate, far exceeded expectations thanks to the generosity of the hundreds who turned out in support.

Featuring the popular Eden Valley Ceilidh Band, the event was held at the former children’s holiday camp opposite Silverdale holiday park, recently acquired by the business.

But the five-figure windfall for Pancreatic Cancer UK is only part of what it will receive as one of Silverdale’s adopted charities for the year.

Other fundraising activities will include sponsored sporting challenges, raffles, bake-offs and a chance for all staff to dress up in purple as part of the charity’s national awareness day.

Local businesses will also be helping the park to swell the total, including Robinson’s Brewery which this summer will donate 5p from every pint sold of its popular Dizzy Blonde ale.

Pancreatic Cancer UK has a special significance for the park as Michael Holgate’s father, Frank, passed away from the disease in January 2015.

Frank Holgate was an early pioneer of holiday parks in the Lake District, and his original business – Silverdale park – is marking its sixty-first anniversary this year.

Michael said that events such as its recent ceilidh are continuing a long tradition started by his father of supporting local good causes with the help of nearby communities: “Fundraising is very much part of our business culture, and we’re delighted that so many people in the surrounding area are keen to become involved,” said Michael.

“We also get amazing support from the hundred-plus staff we employ, virtually all of whom live in south Cumbria villages and help spread the word about our events.

“In fact, some of the most successful activities we lay on are as a result of their suggestions – and amazing new ideas are flowing all the time!” added Michael.

There is more information about Silverdale, and the five other Cumbria and North Lancashire parks belonging to the Holgates group, at www.holgates.co.uk

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