Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Cumbria flood relief concert raises 12,000

Lesley Garrett
Lesley Garrett appeared alongside the Cumbria Youth Orchestra

A concert has raised about £12,000 for the victims of recent flooding in Cumbria and the rescue organisations that helped them.

The event, at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake on Wednesday, featured actor Brian Blessed and opera star Lesley Garrett.

The concert included a tribute to Pc Bill Barker, who died when a flood-damaged bridge collapsed in Workington.

Cash raised will be shared between the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund and a number of rescue organisations.

The Cumbria Youth Orchestra and pianist Andrew West also took part in the event, which was organised by Cumbria County Council.

Other organisations to benefit from the concert include the RNLI, Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, North West Air Ambulance and the RSPCA.

'Poignant moments'

Brian Blessed praised those who had been affected by the floods, which devastated large parts of Cumbria last November.

He said: "They are determined to conquer, to fight and come back from whatever nature throws at them."

Lesley Garrett added: "These people will use their last ounce of courage to rebuild their communities."

Roger Bingham, chairman of Cumbria County Council, described it as a night to remember.

"There were poignant moments mixed in with laughter and the celebration of artistic talent," he said.

"Many, many people have given their time and effort to make this concert happen and help these deserving causes.

"The flood recovery effort continues around the county and it was fitting to celebrate what we have achieved so far as well as recognise the suffering the floods have caused."

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