GLORIOUS weather, sunshine and smiles combined to raise more than £1,000 to support Mountbatten’s work at a summer garden party organised by longtime supporters IOW Tours.

For the past three years, the Lake-based group tour operator has held a major event in aid of Mountbatten at various holiday venues around the country.

Each year, the company has booked and taken over an entire venue to hold an old-fashioned style fete with tombolas and stalls, encouraging tourists to get involved in the fun.

Previous years have seen the event held at Bracklesham Bay near Chichester and Weston-Super-Mare, but this year the IOW Tours Garden Party with fun, games, barbecue and strawberries and cream was on the Isle of Wight, at Warners’ Norton Grange in Yarmouth where music on the lawn also kept guests thoroughly entertained.

Shirley Winn, owner of IOW Tours, said: “Mountbatten means a lot to everybody.

"We’ve had staff in the past who have had cancer, and we find as a local charity there is nothing to beat it. Over the last three years, we have raised over £8,000 for Mountbatten.

“This year, when we were starting to close down the event, people were coming up and just handing us notes and change so they were very supportive.

"At the end of the day, our customers have also potentially been touched by serious illnesses too.”

Next year, the company is hoping to take its event to a venue in Leicestershire.

Shirley added: “We are an Island company employing 24 Island people, but our customers are predominantly from the mainland, so we just take Mountbatten on tour.”

Nigel Hartley, chief executive of Mountbatten, said: “We are so incredibly grateful to Shirley and her team, along with our own Mountbatten volunteers Gloria and Mary, for giving up their time and putting such energy into organising this fantastic event."