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Abertoir festival raises money for Welsh hospices

The horror film festival raised over £600 for local hospice care, thanks to generous donations from attendees of its 2018 edition.

The fundraising came as a result of the festival’s guest of honour, cult director and producer Sean S. Cunningham, best known for Friday the 13th, whose most recent project is a short documentary film, The Nurse With The Purple Hair, about an American hospice nurse, Michelle Lasota.

A large portion of the funds raised came from the auction of a horror-themed teddy bear which made reference to Friday the 13th. The teddy bear was donated by festival attendee Alan Jones, and signed by Sean S. Cunningham before it was put to auction. Julian Neilson was the winning bidder, and his bid was match-donated by Kristen and Jeff McGorry.

Elsewhere at the festival, attendees made optional donations during an autograph signing session with Sean S. Cunningham. The sale of second-hand DVDs, donated by several attendees, over the course of the six days of the festival, also raised money through an honesty box system. Between the auction, signings and the DVD sale, the Abertoir festival audience raised a total of £620.

The funds have been donated to two local hospice care providers, North Ceredigion’s HAHAV, which provides practical, social and emotional support to patients who are living with advanced, incurable and progressive illness in the comfort of their own homes; and the Skanda Vale hospice, located in Llandysul, which is predominantly staffed by volunteers. The hospice is now also in touch with Cunningham, and hope to host their own screening of his film in the new year.

Abertoir Festival director, Gaz Bailey (pictured, right), said “We were thrilled to be able to raise so much money for such a good cause. Our festival-goers have always been among the kindest people you could ever hope to meet, and their generosity confirms that. We were really touched that such a meaningful and important subject such as hospice care could be embraced so warmly by our attendees.”

With support from Ffilm Cymru's Audience Access fund, Abertoir Horror Festival took place 13-18 November, 2018 at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.