FOUR local charities have benefited from the annual Malton panto.

To mark the Malton and Norton Musical Theatre's 65th anniversary the society decided to hold a collection during performances of Dick Whittington in January.

From the funds raised £160 each was donated to Sight Support Ryedale and the Encephalitis Society ,both based in Malton, Next Steps Mental Health Resource Centre in Norton, Ryedale Special Families and Action for Children.

The society's chairman, Ian Goring, said they wanted to do something to mark the special anniversary.

"This is the first time we have done such a collection but we felt we wanted to give something back to the community which has supported us so loyally over the years," he added.

To mark the society's 65th anniversary, a concert will take place in the Milton Rooms, Malton, from June 12 to 14. It will include songs from musicals staged in Malton during the last seven decades, plus others from more recent West End productions.

Plans are also underway for the next panto, which will be Robin Hood and his Merry Me.

Ian added: "All new members are welcome, whatever talents and skills they may have.

"We always need people to participate in our productions, but these cannot be staged without the team behind the scenes, who may be set builders, costume designers, chaperones, to name but a few."

Anyone interested in getting involved should phone Ian Goring on 07988 740274.