As the country celebrates Valentine's Day today, the people of Kingston are showing their love not just for each other, but for the town they live in.

Today is the first ever Love Kingston Day, when residents, businesses and charities come together to raise money for the Love Kingston appeal.

The Love Kingston appeal has been set up to raise funds for five Kingston charities - youth charity Oxygen, credit union Kingston Savers, Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness, Kingston Foodbank and women's refuge Hestia.

Half the money raised is split between the five organisations with the other half going into the Kingston Legacy Fund, which will distribute cash to other good causes within he borough.

The appeal needs to raise £193,052 by March this year in order to access £48,263 of Government match funding.

So today, Kingston is coming together to help the appeal reach that target.

Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith backed trhe campaign, saying: "Not only will this campaign raise much-needed short term funds, its Legacy Fund will provide community groups and networks with long term support well into the future.

"I’m pleased to support this inspiring initiative."

Events for Love Kingston Day include:

Bentall Centre staff collecting cash, selling Liove Kingston cupcakes and holding a what's in the box competition from 9am to 9pm

The Gym Group will be holding one minute time trials in the Market Place from 10am to 4pm

Musician Lizzie King will busking in the Market Place all day

Bavarian bar and restaurant Stein’s, in Portsmouth Road, will be selling Love Kingston cocktails from lunchtime

Jamie’s Italian in High Street will be serving a special Love Kingston menu from lunchtime

SBlended Milkshakes in Clarence Street have created Love Kingston Milkshakes

Kingston Foodbank will be selling Love Kingston cupcakes at Kingston United Reformed Church from 11am

The Big Yellow Box Storage in Tolworth is holding a guess what’s in the box competition all day.

Blossom the Pantomime Horse will be in Surbiton collecting money for Love Kingston throughout the day

Roger and his sheep will be in New Malden High Street collecting for Love Kingston.

Kingston Grammar School will be collecting cash all day

George P Johnson Marketing will be selling sweets all day

A volunteer speed dating event organised by Go Kingston will take place from 4pm to 7.30pm at Market House.

For more information visit or

The easiest way to donate to #lovekingston is texting code LVKG00 to 70070 with the amount you want to give.