AN appeal to save Ilminster’s beloved festival flags by raising £7,000 has got off to a great start.

The fundraising effort was launched by Angie Blackwell, owner of Cottage Flowers, and Mike Fry-Foley, from summer festival organisers Experience Ilminster.

Businesses in the town have rallied around Angie’s idea of a hamper raffle, and now the mayor of Ilminster, Philip Burton, will be doing the charity draw.

And the public have been getting behind the cause too.

Angie Blackwell said: “There has been a tremendous response to the appeal and everyone has been very generous. We still have plenty of tickets left so I would urge those of you who have not yet bought one to come into the shop for your opportunity to win a magnificent prize.”

The top prize hamper is worth £500, but there are also six other hampers up for grabs for people with their name in the hat.

In total, there is £1,170 worth of prizes on offer. Tickets costs just £1 and are available from Cottage Flowers, Bonner’s the Butchers, the Ilminster Emporium and Silver Street Dairy.

Michael Fry-Foley, chairman of Experience Ilminster, added: “We are well on the way to meet our target of £7,000 by the end of the year and the proceeds of the raffle will be a terrific boost for our funds.”

The draw is set to be carried out by the mayor of Ilminster, Philip Burton, and will take place at 2pm on October 31 at Cottage Flowers.

Businesses who have supported the cause include: Mark Hebron, Bonner’s, Melanie Todd cake design, Cottage Flowers, Whitelackington Art Group, Ilminster Emporium, Silver Street Dairy, Today’s Menu, Remains To Be Seen antiques, the Post Office, Jane Morgan art, Greenslade Taylor Hunt estate agents, Co-op, Tesco, Lloyd’s and Natwest.