A CHARITY which launched an advent calendar designed by schoolchildren and backed by businesses has had to come up with new ways of selling them because of the lockdown.

Each window of the fundraising calendar features a tear-off voucher for offers at independent shops, pubs and cafes.

Friends Of Brighton And Hove Hospitals planned to sell it in all the places featured – then days before kick-off Boris Johnson announced the second nationwide lockdown, ruining the plans.

But fundraiser Katy Wells, whose daughter Grace, 12, came up with the idea of the calendar, said they would not give up.

She said: “It’s got some amazing offers in it such as ten per cent off Christmas trees from the Seven Dials florist, 30 per cent off beautiful stationery from 1973’s new online shop and 30 per cent off wine from Stopham vineyard.

“Lockdown has obviously made selling the advent calendar a little bit more challenging for us as none of the retailers featured are open to sell it but we won’t be beaten.

“We have set up an online pop-up Christmas shop where you can order it and then collect from the Book Nook in Hove or the Friends Of Brighton And Hove Hospitals office in St George’s Road, Kemp Town.”

The artwork behind the calendar windows was produced by pupils at Blatchington Mill School, Hove Junior School and St Andrew’s in Hove, Shoreham College and Brighton Girls.

All the proceeds will go to the charity’s Small Acts of Friendship initiative, which is a partnership with the Elderly Care Team at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital.

It is a programme of personal services and activities, from hairdressing to music and poetry groups, which help patients keep a sense of dignity, social activity and wellbeing in hospital.

You can buy the calendar, which is £10, at www.jumblebee.co.uk/post/OKxXbIKAhS/popupshops.