A MAGICAL fundraiser for the Samaritans helped to add £1,000 to the charity's coffers.

The Colchester branch of the group were entertained by magician Michael J Fitch at their Christmas party at the Walsingham Road Community Hall.

Director of Colchester Samaritans Carol Almond said: "We have an amazing bunch of people who devote a few hours every week to supporting people in crisis and distress.

"Samaritans’ 24 hour, seven day a week service can sometimes be emotionally draining on volunteers.

"Not only do we answer the phones, but we also reply to emails and SMS from people in crisis.

“Our volunteers also reach out into the community by giving talks to schools and local organisations, as well as visiting potentially vulnerable people at the Military Corrective Training Centre.

"So it was good to have the chance to enjoy each other’s company with family and friends at an evening of entertainment.”

Fundraising co-ordinator Karen Thomson helped to organise Mr Fitch's appearance.

She said: "Michael was amazing, going around each table astounding people with his tricks before performing his magic on stage.

"And the meal, expertly prepared by our talented volunteers, was marvellous too – a true delight."

Samaritans can be reached free anytime and from any phone on 116 123.

Alternatively people can email jo@samaritans.org or visit samaritans.org/colchester