A CHARITY which has saved hundreds of children’s lives in Fiji has received a special gift from one of England’s most well-known rock bands.

Children of Fiji, which was set up by Dorset couple Peter and Margaret Long, has received a signed guitar from Status Quo.

The charity helps provide clean water and sanitation for children, equipment for schools, basic medical equipment and resources for hospitals and nursing stations.

The band became aware of the charity’s work and donated a guitar to help raise funds for its cause.

Margaret said: “It came to our notice that they did a recording out in Fiji. We felt they had some sort of connection.

“We thought it was worth writing to them to see if they supported what we are doing.”

The couple heard back from the band’s management a couple of months later, much to their surprise.

Peter said: “It was a thrill to know that the group had talked about our charity and had decided to do something to support it.”

The charity is also being supported by Mason McQueen, star of BBC programme A Cabbie Abroad.

The TV series sees Mr McQueen drive taxis in three cities around the world, including Suva, the capital of the South Pacific island of Fiji.

Shortly after the programme was aired, the couple received a Facebook message from the famous taxi driver.

In his message, Mr McQueen said: “I just took a look at your charity website. Wow! Totally amazing. Really great projects. The people of Fiji must be very grateful for the work you do. You’re very special people.”

Margaret said: “It’s always good when somebody in that position backs what we are doing. It’s a real boost.”

The couple, who live in Cattistock, said they’d like to hear suggestions from members of the public about how to auction off the guitar.

Peter said: “We have spoken to a lot of people and everyone’s really excited about the fact we’ve got this but no one’s sure how much it should be worth.

“We just want to get as much money as we can to help the charity.”

If you have any suggestions for the guitar’s worth or a method of auctioning, the charity can be contacted through its website at childrenoffiji.co.uk