AN EVENING of entertainment from some of the UK’s finest comedians raised £38,000 for an Oxford charity.

Jo Brand, Patrick Kielty and Sean Lock, plus a cappella singers Out of the Blue, were among the performers helping to raise cash for East Oxford children’s and young people’s respite hospice Helen & Douglas House.

It was the fifth such event, called Childish Things, and took place in Oxford’s New Theatre last month.

Kate Day, who organises the event along with Lizzie Pickering, said: “We are very pleased with that amount because this year is proving to be a funny one in terms of fundraising. So to raise £38,000 on a Thursday night is something we are absolutely delighted about.”

Planning has already begun for next year’s event, which will take place on Saturday, March 20.

Miss Day said: “I think the event is growing. We have had amazing feedback with people saying they can’t wait for next year’s, and to keep them coming.

“It’s a bit scary starting out on the next one, hopping you can live up to last year’s success.”

It costs £4.5m to run the two hospices each year and the charity relies on donations.

But Miss Day said that as well as being a much-needed funding boost, Childish Things was crucial in terms of making people aware of what the charity was all about.

She said: “It is vitally important for Helen & Douglas House because every year, it either keeps us in touch with existing supporters, or puts us in touch with new supporters. People discover there are other ways to help us as well as coming to a show.

“It also underlines the fact that the heart of the charity is the ethos of living live to the full and having fun in your life, however short it may be.People often think hospices are about sadness but something like Childish Things proves it is all about having fun as well.”

Each year, the New Theatre gives the charity the venue free of charge and donates bar and ice cream sales.

Many of the staff working there also give their time for free.

Tickets are on sale now for next year’s event and Miss Day said tentative approaches had already been made for the line-up for Childish Things 6.

She said: “We always say to everyone who has been in one show ‘can we ask you another year?’ and we haven’t had anybody say ‘no’ yet.

“We had a couple of people who have been in past shows who said ‘sorry I can’t help this year, but do ask for next year’.”

Tickets are available from the New Theatre box office in George Street or from Ticketmaster on 0844 8471585.