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across the Weald and South East

TV doctor Dr Hilary Jones switched on the Christmas lights at Benenden Hospital this week to help raise a grand total of £7,000 for homeless charity Porchlight.

The Good Morning Britain health editor and BBC Radio 2 guest presenter performed the ceremony in the hospital’s Atrium on Wednesday (December 5) after officially opening the new building in April.

He also presented gifts to more than 50 pupils at Benenden Primary School who sang Christmas carols O Little Town of Bethlehem, Once in Royal David’s City and Silent Night.

He told the crowd: “It gives me great pleasure to officially switch on the Christmas tree lights. They look fantastic, let there be lights!

“Every year, staff here support a worthy good cause and this year it is the homeless charity Porchlight.

“It is a local charity close to your hearts and minds and you have been absolutely passionate about raising funds for them.

“The number of people who are dependent on the help from this charity has doubled in the last three years so the help that you give, adults and children alike, is phenomenal.

“There has been some fantastic fundraising efforts for this charity and we want to continue to help these people struggling with Christmas.”

More than 20 members of staff held a sponsored sleepout at the hospital on Friday (November 30). They have so far almost tripled their £1,000 target by raising £2,601 including gift aid and can still be sponsored.

In total, they have so far raised nearly £7,000 from a number of fundraising events throughout the year including an annual Christmas quiz night and raffle, Halloween sweet sale , Easter tombola and race night.

If you would like to make a donation to the Benenden Dream Team, go to

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