MORE than £20,000 was raised at Leuchie House’s annual Ascot fundraising event, making it the most successful in its six-year history.

Leuchie’s racing-themed fundraiser brought in £22,000 for the charity – based near North Berwick – so far, with more sponsorship still to come.

Nearly 200 people donned their finery to attend the charity’s event, which featured live streaming of four of the day’s races from Ascot.

Thanks to support from Archerfield, the event was held at the estate’s Waterfront venue rather than its usual venue of Leuchie House, and was hosted by radio and TV presenter Grant Stott.

Carolyn Roulston, Leuchie House’s business development manager, said that the new venue had helped take the event to an even higher level. She said: “When Archerfield offered to host our Ascot Afternoon this year we were delighted.

“The Waterfront is a stunning venue with views across the Forth and we knew it would help make the event even more special, allowing us to offer regular supporters something different, while helping to attract an even wider audience.

“That definitely turned out to be the case, with tickets selling out by February.”

There was praise for Mr Stott for his “marvellous job” as master of ceremonies, while Carolyn also thanked all those who had contributed.

She said: “We’d like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who attended, who sponsored the event, who donated prizes and who gave their time to help out on the day. The amount raised is way beyond what we could have hoped for and will make a huge difference in helping us to continue providing vital respite breaks for people with long-term conditions.”

Leuchie House guest Helga Thomson joined the proceedings to talk about what life was like living with MS and what having breaks at Leuchie had meant to her over the past seven years.

The event began with a drinks reception, after which, guests enjoyed four of the day’s races live from Ascot, then the chance to bid on a range of items in the live and silent auctions, before live music by the Blue Thursdays brought the event to a close.

Leuchie House needs to generate nearly £900,000 every year to operate.

The Ascot Afternoon is one of the charity’s biggest annual fundraising events and all proceeds from the day will go to support Leuchie’s respite break service.