Ripon volunteers raise £9,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research

10 June 2022

Volunteers in Ripon have raised more than £9,000 to help fund world-leading research in Yorkshire after hosting a ‘Carols by Candlelight’ evening at Swinton Park Hotel.

Members of the charity’s Ripon volunteer group, alongside Countess of Swinton, Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, presented a cheque to Yorkshire Cancer Research at the country estate.

Dr Christopher Bennett, President of the group, said: “Christmas in 2021 was well and truly launched at Swinton Park Hotel with the concert and dinner.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the Earl and Countess of Swinton who made available the hotel facilities and employees to make this a most memorable occasion. We’d also like to thank our generous sponsors.”  

The event was organised by Christopher with support from fellow volunteers Dennis Tarter and Cathy Kitchingman.

The carols were sung by the ‘Yorkshire Decibelles’, a female vocal group who perform across North Yorkshire, and ‘Yorkshire Voices’, a chamber choir featuring local professional singers. Both groups are led by Ruth Sladden, who is the first female Lay Clerk at Ripon Cathedral.

Carols by Candlelight at Swinton Park Hotel

Christopher continued: “The combined forces of Yorkshire Voices and Yorkshire Decibelles enthralled us with carols, solo singing and various readings including one from The Chronicles of Narnia.

“After the carol service and readings, the whole gathering proceeded to the marvellous, ornate 19th century Samuel’s dining room along the long passageway from the library which was lined with countless candles and lanterns.”

As well as the sale of tickets, funds were raised through a silent auction that included items such as golf lessons, watercolour paintings and guided tours of Swinton Park, as well as a raffle.

Items for both the auction and raffle were generously donated by businesses and individuals across the region.

After the success of the event, the volunteers will be hosting ‘carols by candlelight’ again this Christmas, on December 1st, 2022.

The evening was one of many events hosted by the Ripon Volunteer Group, which was first formed in 1975 and has since raised more than £500,000 to help fund research in Yorkshire.

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