IT will be ice cream galore at Empire cinema next month as staff give away free cones in a bid to raise £750 for The Adver’s 160 Appeal in aid of Prospect Hospice.

Cinemagoers and anyone walking into the multiplex will be offered a scoop of their favourite Ben and Jerry’s flavour as part of the brand’s national Free Cone Day in exchange for a small donation for the Wroughton charity.

They will also be invited to take their chance at a fete-style games and enjoy a variety of activities, including face-painting on Tuesday, April 8.

Andrew Fisher, one of the managers at Empire Cinema in Greenbridge Retail Park, said Free Cone Day was the perfect way to both thank the people of Swindon for their custom and collect much-needed funds for Swindon and Wiltshire’s only hospice.

“The cone is free but we want to incentivise people to dig deep and give what they can to Prospect Hospice,” he said.

“We will have six dedicated staff on the day to run different fete-style stalls like Hook-a-Duck and we will also have a tombola and raffle.

“It’s partly our way to say thank you to the community and to try to fundraise for Prospect Hospice.

“The staff are all aware of Prospect and the fantastic work that they do. Cancer and terminal illnesses have touched our staff.

“People do not need to be a paying customer on Free Cone Day, they can purely pop along for a free ice cream and join in the fun.

“We are hoping that around 3,000 will attend.”

He added: “It’s fantastic for us to be involved in donating to Prospect through the 160 Appeal. Hopefully we can raise as much as possible for the campaign.”

One scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream normally costs £2.50.

Adver editor Gary Lawrence encouraged readers to get in line for a free cone on April 8 and donate generously to the appeal.

“Free Cone Day is the ideal way for the people of Swindon to support our 160 Appeal for Prospect Hospice while enjoying a fun afternoon complete with ice cream and fun games.

“Empire has set itself a target of £750 and I am confident we can achieve this if everyone donates what they can, whether it is 20p or £5.

“The community’s response to the appeal has been fantastic so far and we are extremely grateful to our readers for their generosity and eagerness to back their local hospice.”