Hospice bosses have taken over the running of Hove Carnival to save it from the scrapheap.

The annual spring bank holiday event has been run for 40 years by volunteers from Hove Lions and attracts up to 10,000 people.

During that time, more than £250,000 has been raised for local charities and good causes, while thousands of visitors have been entertained with memorable street parties, games and entertainment.

But dwindling numbers of Lions supporters – fewer and fewer of them fit enough to run a major event – meant charity leaders believed they might have to cancel the fun day.

However the Martlets Hospice has agreed to take on the organisation of the carnival.

This year’s event will be held on May 27, with Lions staff supporting Martlets workers with planning the festivities.

Hove Lions club president Sam Marshall said: “It would have been wonderful to have carried on as in the past, but we are delighted that the Martlets has taken the opportunity to take on the ownership of the carnival.

“I think if it failed to go ahead this year it wouldn’t have ever got back on its feet, and there was a real possibility of that.

“If I’m being honest we only have about 12 members now, two of which are fit enough to spend a day supporting such an event.”

More volunteers

A spokeswoman for The Martlets said the charity was grateful to the Lions for giving them the opportunity to organise the event.

She said: “The carnival will not only help us with our own fundraising, but will also enable other local causes to continue to raise money for their valuable work as well.

“We will be looking to keep the carnival similar to what it has been for the last 40 years, but with more volunteers and more bodies available, we are optimistic that we can make it a bigger and better event than it has been previously.

“The Hove Lions have done tremendously well for the last four decades and we hope to build on that with new ideas to keep our guests entertained.

“We are excited for the future.”

Any local business, club or society who wants to be involved should call Rachel Chitty on 01273 747455, or email rachel.chitty@themartletshospice.co.uk.

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