A charity set up by a Meon Valley woman has raised an incredible £10,000 to support people experiencing homelessness and substance abuse.

It comes after A Touch of Magic, established by Jess Ridge in 2009 when she was aged just eight, nominated the Society of St James (SSJ) as its 2023 Charity of the Year.

SSJ supports those experiencing homelessness and substance abuse through employment, education, training and activities across Portsmouth and Southampton.

A Touch of Magic raised the £10,836 sum through events including an innovative ‘Swingo’ evening combining swing dancing and bingo.

Founder Jess, from Hambledon, said: “I met Lucy at SSJ and visited their Rough Sleeping Hub and fell in love with the work they do. Homelessness is rife and it’s not an area A Touch of Magic has helped before.”

A Touch of Magic’s 2024 Charity of the Year is Queen Alexandra Hospital’s breast cancer unit.