Kingston will feel the love this Valentine’s Day as the borough’s first dedicated day of action raises money for community charities.
In two weeks the inaugural Love Kingston Day will aim to raise money for the borough’s most in need with a day of action across the borough on February 14.
The event is being backed by businesses and organisations including the Rose Theatre, Kingston First, Kingston University, Kingston College, Kingston Chamber of Commerce, the Bentall Centre and John Lewis.
Bucket collections and wacky fundraisers will take place as residents show their love for Kingston.
The day of action will help thousands of people including homeless people, battered women, families without a meal on the table, troubled teenagers and even those with credit problems.
Market Place will be “loved up” with a number of spinning bikes set out for 30-second time trials organised by the Gym Group in Eden Street. Ed Whitson, general manager at the Gym Group, said: “People can come in their work clothes and give it a go. It is a great thing to do to support the community.
“The good thing is it is not too hot so you won’t work up much of a sweat but it is a great way to get active and it is for your community. Plus it is fun and trendy.”
The Love Kingston appeal needs to raise £193,052 by March to meet a Government match-funding target.
Half the money raised will go to five Kingston-based charities: Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, youth charity Oxygen supporting hard to reach young people, the Kingston Foodbank providing food in a crisis, credit union Kingston Savers and domestic violence refuge Hestia.
The other half will go to the Kingston Legacy Fund, which will donate to other good causes.
Jamie’s Italian has got on board with Love Kingston and customers will be taking part on February 14 and 15.
Joanne Carson, office manager at Jamie’s Italian, said: “We are keen to get involved. We want to give something back to our community through the Love Kingston appeal.”
Love Kingston has been organised by Kingston Voluntary Action in partnership with the London Community Foundation.
Fundraising manager Elaine Miller said: “I am hugely excited about the day. I am absolutely thrilled with the number of people taking part.
“The charities bind a number of different people together and the participation is a true testament to the great communities in Kingston.”
l To donate to Love Kingston text 70070 with the code LVKG00 and the amount you wish to donate, or visit love-kingston.org.uk.