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Campaign 'strike-rate' rewarded with extra cash

The Basingstoke Gazette is celebrating an excellent ‘strike rate’ with itsChristmas campaign in aid of a local hostel for the homeless.

Shortly after signing up Ian Botham as one of its supporters, it learnedthat it had been successful with its bid for a grant from the GannettFoundation – part of the American firm which owns Newsquest.

The newspaper has been championing the cause of the hostel for the pastthree months with a campaign aimed at persuading local restaurants, pubs andhotels to put an extra £1 on each meal bill to its customers and donatingthe cash to the May Place Hostel.

The scheme is based on the Streetwise initiative in London, which raised£250,000 for the homeless last year.

Gazette editor Bill Browne said: “People do not always give readily to the homeless and persuading businesses to come on board has been a hard slog. But our recent breakthroughs have made it all worthwhile. Ian Bothamwas just great.

“We hijacked his book-signing session when he came to Basingstoke, but togive him due credit he responded immediately.”

It is the first year that the Foundation scheme has operated in Britain andThe Gazette is just one of a number of titles around the UK to benefit froma share in a $150,000 fund.

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