Dame Kelly kick-starts the New Year party


    Around 1,500 revellers celebrated alongside Dame Kelly Holmes to see in the New Year for Hug-Many in Tunbridge Wells.

    Marking its second year at The Pantiles, the fundraiser for the Pickering Cancer Drop-in Centre collected money on the night, with organisers also taking further donations online.

    The evening featured music from the Blues Brothers Little Brother, a live bagpiper and a fireworks finale.

    Event founder Ian Andrew, of Michael James Insurance, said it had been a great success which built on initial festivities staged last year.

    This year, the event also fundraised for the ellenor children’s care charity.

    Mr Andrew said: “We had a really successful night and we were lucky with the weather as it was clear and dry when we were setting up. I think we’d have had even more people there if it hadn’t rained when it did.

    “The idea for the event came up when I was just walking round The Pantiles and thought what a great place it would be for everyone in Tunbridge Wells to come together and raise money for charity and have a good time.”

    Fellow organiser Julian Leefe-Griffiths said: “There was a great atmosphere and we are very pleased the second event was such a success. Dame Kelly made a speech and said how pleased she was to be supporting the night and our charities. There was such a positive vibe.”