Staff at Lighthouse have been getting behind Challenge40 – a fundraising campaign which celebrates our iconic arts centre’s 40th birthday.

Lighthouse bosses threw down the gauntlet to employees at the beginning of the year, challenging each of them to raise £40 to provide opportunities for young people throughout Dorset to experience the arts through dynamic creative programmes.

Staff wasted no time in taking up the challenge, and the fundraising pledges came in thick and fast.

On 1st July, in sweltering hot conditions, Lighthouse Stage Door Attendant Stephen Collins undertook a gruelling 40 mile run between Dorset’s two working lighthouses at Portland Bill and Anvil Point. Accompanied for much of the run by Duty Manager Tom Holmes, Stephen managed to complete a staggering 32 miles before the heat made the run impossible to continue.

PA & Administrator Michele Shield completed the Edinburgh half marathon on 27 May, raising money for Challenge40 and Coeliac UK.

Current Lighthouse Board Chairman Mike Jeffries held an exhibition and auction of his watercolour paintings, splitting the proceeds between the Lighthouse Challenge40 campaign and Dorset’s disability charity Diverse Abilities, whilst former Chairman David Pratley is set to perform a Christmas piano recital in the Sherling Studio at Lighthouse on 6 December. In February, Lighthouse trustee Professor Bob Reeve carried out backstage tours of Lighthouse for members of a local U3A group.

Other members of staff have run TV quizzes and ‘Who’s the Baby’ competitions for their colleagues, given up chocolate for lent or made and sold homemade natural cosmetics products and other homegrown items including freshly laid eggs and tomato plants. A charity Quiz Night will take place in the autumn for all Lighthouse employees.

Lighthouse Chief Executive Elspeth McBain commented: “We have an incredible, committed team at Lighthouse and their support for our fundraising campaign is inspiring. They set themselves the challenge of raising £40,000 by the end of the year and they have more than risen to it! I am so impressed with what they have come up with to raise much needed funds to continue our education and artist development work.”

If you would like to support our staff by making a donation to Lighthouse Challenge40, however small or large, please email

Published 16 July 2018