TWO charities in Warminster have each received cheques for £375 to help improve the health and wellbeing of their local community.

Heart of Warminster donated the funds to the Wessex MS Therapy Centre and the Friends of Warminster Hospital.

The money was raised through the sale of calendars featuring photographs of Warminster scenes taken by local people.

Amanda Strong, community fundraiser for the Wessex MS Therapy Centre, said: "We are very grateful to the Heart of Warminster and to the wonderful photographers who helped produce such a lovely calendar of our town and surrounding areas, the money raised will help go towards subsidising our therapies for members at the centre.”

Richard Curtis, on behalf of the Friends of Warminster Hospital, said: "A big thank you to Lesley Blain and Georgie Rich for their superb donation of £375 from the sale of the Heart of Warminster produced Christmas calendars.

"The Friends are very grateful for all donations, big and small, towards its remit of supporting Warminster Community Hospital, local surgeries and community care, and particularly at this time of Covid stress.

"The Friends are excited to be supporting the hospital, as the NHS plans the refurbishment of the hospital with the move of the Longleat Ward to the ground floor, which will give access to a new garden for patients and staff."

Lesley Blain and Georgie Rich, of Heart of Warminster, said: "Throughout 2020, when we were in the first and second lockdowns, people were sending to the Heart of Warminster Facebook page the most beautiful photos of the surrounding area taken on their daily walks.

"Although many were amateur photos, the quality was amazing and the pictures were enjoyed by everyone, especially those shielding.

"We built up such a collection that it seemed a great idea to use them to further benefit the local community. Twelve were chosen and the calendar was created.

"We decided that health-related charities should benefit as these have become even more important and even more stretched during the pandemic.

"While Heart of Warminster produced the calendar it couldn't have been a success without the support of the local community."

Mrs Blain added: "All of the photographers gave permission for their photos to be used free of charge so we are grateful to David MgGirr, Paul Duckworth, Simon Mitchell, Barley Jackson, Karen Lawson and David Fryer.

"And of course we needed to sell it. This is where local businesses stepped up to help.

"Iris and Olive, Griffins jewellers, the Old Firestation Cafe, The Old Factory Shop, Gibbs Dry Cleaners, Nicks Shoe Repairs and Number Ten Interiors all sold calendars in-store and Harling IT set up an online sales facility for those more distant or shielding who wanted to buy."The calendars ended up being posted around the world to Australia, Canada, Italy, France and Holland to name a few."What started as a good idea really became a community project and we are so pleased to be able to hand over the resulting donations to such worthwhile causes."