Charity Challenge finalists announced

Charity Challenge.
Charity Challenge.

The performers have now been chosen for the Furness Building Society Charity Challenge final at the Lancaster Grand Theatre on February 8th 2014 when they will take to the stage to win a share of more than £3,000 in cash prizes for their chosen charities.

Lancashire once again dominates the competition accounting for 9 out of the 13 finalists representing 12 charities for the on-stage line-up. Videos of all of the acts can be seen at

The finalists will compete for prizes of £1,000 for first place, £750 for second place, and £500 for third place, with £100 for each of the other performers so that all of the charities represented on stage will benefit.

The Charity Challenge final starts at 7.00pm and tickets are £5 each and are available through Lancaster Grand Theatre box office on 01524 64695 or by visiting

The Space Centre in Preston is represented by two acts in the final.

By day Kim Braysford is a paralegal at a solicitor’s at a Preston solicitors but her alter-ego Eva Fox enjoys singing in the spectacular ‘Burlesque’ style in the evenings. Kim was saddened to hear about the recent funding crisis at the SPACE multi-sensory centre.

She said: “The charity is a wonderful example of the way people work and volunteer selflessly to help others, and success in the competition will be another positive step in their recovery.”

Fun guitar duo Ryan Hamilton & Craig Payne have also chosen to sing for The Space Centre. Ryan is a business student at UCLAN but loves music, and with his friend Craig from Blackburn enjoys putting an original spin on their performances in a variety of musical styles.

They play mainly for charity benefits – and decided to support the SPACE multi-sensory centre after hearing from a fellow musician about the charity’s recent struggles with funding.

Ryan says: “They do fantastic work with disabled children and deserve all the support we can give them.”

18-year-old Sophia Crawshay from Lytham St Annes is representing North West Air Ambulance.

Sophia is currently on a gap year before taking up a 4 year hockey scholarship at an American college. She started singing in public only during her final year at school.

By supporting the North West Air Ambulance charity she is following in her mum’s footsteps, and so fully appreciates the life-saving support the service provides across the region.

16 year old Chloe Dent from Tarleton representing Rosemere Cancer Foundation has already achieved success singing in competitions.

Chloe supports Rosemere at functions to raise funds for additional equipment and facilities for cancer patients being treated at the specialist Cancer Centre at Royal Preston Hospital and in the local Cancer Units throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Lewis Danson, aged 16 from Ashton on Ribble, and Chloe Smith, aged 15, from Blackpool have both been dancing ‘Strictly Ballroom’ style for a number of years and have chosen to Age UK as their nominated good cause because they have supported it by dancing at events in the past.

David Hanmer, aged 23, from Carnforth is representing CancerCare. He has been singing for as long as he can remember and began playing the guitar when he was eight years old.

He primarily performs in the studio, on his own and with other musicians, but also plays guitar for local theatre group Dare to Go. CancerCare support services are concentrated throughout North Lancashire and South Lakeland and support people living with life limiting conditions.

Andrew Farringdon from Preston made his stage debut for The Foxton Centre last year in the Charity Challenge final and is once again representing the homeless charity. Since then Andrew has appeared on TV with Preston’s One Voice Community Choir which made it to the final of the BBC’s ‘Songs of Praise’ Gospel Choir of the Year contest.

Lizzie Howard, aged 18, moved with her family to Perth in Australia when she was 13, but is currently staying with her Nan in Poulton-le-Fylde on a long term visit to study musical theatre in the UK. Lizzie chose to perform for the Prince’s Trust because of the outstanding work they do supporting and inspiring young people.