COMEDIAN Hugh Dennis thanked the Emsworth community for raising more than £15,000 for Comic Relief.
The television star received a cheque for £15,000 on behalf of the charity and praised the community for their efforts in becoming the UK’s first ever ‘Red Nose Town’.
“The amount you raised is enough to vaccinate over three and a half thousand children in Africa, against deadly childhood diseases,” he said.
“Or, it could pay for a years’ worth of home-visits - friendship, company and support for 75 isolated older people in the UK.
“Your weekend of silliness, revelry and generosity really will touch and transform many lives, providing of course, we can find a way to get this out sized cardboard cheque through the cashier’s window. Emsworth - thank you.”
‘Giggler’ and organiser Alistair Gibson said the event would ‘live long in the memory of Emsworth’.
He added: “It was a truly amazing weekend with the most wonderful community spirit.
“Our thanks to all those who sponsored and supported the weekend.”
Director of Red Nose Day Emma Freud, added: “What happened in Emsworth is a magnificent first. The first time an entire town has embraced Red Nose Day and created comedy and fun in every possible corner. Even the cheese counter.
“We are in awe of them. I want to live there now.”
From an idea originally thought of by WemsFest, Comic Relief granted Emsworth the mantle of being the UK’s first ever ‘Red Nose Town’ and the community fully embraced the title.
An amazing weekend of events, from 13-15 March, raised in excess of £15,000 for the charity.
The partnership of WemsFest and the Emsworth Business Association came up with more than three days of activities and events designed to appeal to and involve as many different elements of the population as possible.
Emsworth Fire Station set off on a static cycle to John O’Groats (while the fire crew at John O’Groats returned the favour and static cycled to Emsworth) and members of staff at the Emsworth Southern Co-operative branch ‘rowed’ to the BBC Centre in London.
Many businesses renamed themselves over the weekend - the award-winning Fat Olives restaurant became ‘Red Olives’ and there were many others including ‘The Redhouse Café’ (Greenhouse), ‘The Blue Nose Inn’ (Blue Bell), ‘The Red Box’ (Gift Box), ‘Nose Print’ (Key Print), ‘Cheese & ChutNOSE’ (Cheese & Chutney) and ‘Sausage Relief’ (H. H Treagust & Sons butchers).
A Silent Disco in the town’s main square on Red Nose day took place under four huge red noses, donated by Jago developments, which appeared in Emsworth over the weekend.
More than 250 people, most in fancy dress, attended the event.
On Mothering Sunday ‘Pennies Across the Millpond’ linking the Emsworth, and Slipper, Sailing Clubs with coins was so successful the organisers managed to do it twice and filled a huge wheelbarrow with the result.
A ‘Red Nose Duck Race’ saw Red Noses bobbing down the River Ems from Westbourne to Emsworth with many cries of ‘follow that nose!”