WINCHESTER Rotary Club has raised thousands for a city charity against all odds.

The club's Grand Draw for Winchester Youth Counselling had to be held virtually due to coronavirus. Organisers had planned to do it at the annual barn dance.

But on Saturday, the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eleanor Bell, and club president Mike Billington welcomed guests via video chat and £8,000 was raised.

Jill Guppy, project manager at Winchester Youth Counselling, said: “We are extremely grateful to Winchester Rotary – these funds will enable us to continue with both our Nature Therapy and the Walk and Talk Programmes for the rest of the financial year, and we hope that they can start again in the summer."

The guest of honour Faruku Kibaba, a Ugandan Peace Scholar currently stranded in Winchester, drew the winning tickets.

Winners of the £1,000 prize re-donated the money to Winchester Youth Counselling.

Prize cash had been donated by several local businesses.

A spokesperson for the Rotary Club said: "Winchester Rotary thanks everyone who bought and sold tickets and those who donated and sourced prizes. A full list of winners can be seen on the blog page of the Winchester Rotary website."