STAFF and volunteers at Somerset County Council have raised £1,364 to be shared between four charities.

Cheques for £341 each have been presented to representatives of Somerset Trust for Arts and Recreation (STAR), Love Musgrove, Children's Hospice South West and Taunton Women's Refuge at a cream tea event at Taunton's Wyvern Club.

Council chairman Cllr Nigel Taylor thanked the fundraisers, who had held a number of events such as dress down days over the past year.

He said: "Somerset is fortunate to have small charities that work so hard for the benefit of so many people. They rely on volunteers and the support they receive across Somerset.

"I am proud that our staff have contributed by running and taking part in fundraising events for the good causes."

Also attending the event were delegates from this year’s beneficiaries of the chairman's charities fund - STAR, Mind Somerset, Prostate Cancer Research Centre South West and Somerset Community Foundation Somerset Fund.

They were selected and voted for by staff and will benefit from funds raised by the chairman over the course of the year.

STAR is a charity for Somerset children and young people designated as in need. It aims to provide opportunities for children and young people to build and develop resilience through taking part in music, sport, art and recreational activities.

Mind Somerset is a mental health charity providing one-to-one and group support for adults and young people; events and projects; corporate training and volunteering opportunities.

Prostate Cancer Research Centre focuses on the advanced stage of the disease which causes the majority of prostate cancer deaths and for which treatments are currently limited.

Somerset Community Foundation’s Somerset Fund helps support a wide range of causes in the county from parent and toddler groups to mental health charities and homeless shelters.