Thanks to your amazing generosity, we raised more than £58,000 which will be used to launch a brand new cancer support service for children and their families in Sussex.
The Brighton Grand was the glamorous setting for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity gala dinner on Saturday evening.
Three hundred guests arrived in The Empress Suite to be greeted by a stunning projector display along the west wall and beautiful table decorations, all aimed at reflecting the glittery theme.
This year’s ball was supported by headline sponsor The Agora Clinic with supporting sponsors Galloways, ILG, UnitedUs, Living Room Health, Creative Pod, Firmballs, Platinum Media Group, The Grand and Rubix VT. Their support of the event meant that every penny raised on the night can go to right to where it’s needed most.
Of her support for the charity, Dr Carole Gilling-Smith, CEO and Medical Director of The Agora said, “To us, every child is special, and so are their parents, which is why the Agora is so proud to support Rockinghorse give children the help they need when physical or emotional health issues become a challenge.”
Hosted by television presenter Marcella Whittingdale, a Rockinghorse ambassador, an incredible £58,000 was raised during the evening, all of which will be going to funding a new psychology service for children and families recovering from cancer.
The service aims to be able to offer a psychology service to families whose children have finished their treatment but who then have to deal with the often painful, emotional impact of the trauma they have experienced.
There is no other specialist support of this kind available in Sussex which means there are hundreds of children and their families struggling to manage and unable to move past potentially the worst experience of their lives.
Rockinghorse has previously funded a successful specialist oncology psychology service for children and families while they are receiving treatment, but this new service will help them manage what can often be serious mental health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and help them return to a life after cancer.
Consultant Paediatrician and Paediatric Oncologist at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Dr Anne Davidson, spoke movingly to the guests about the impact that a cancer diagnosis and treatment can have on families both in the short term and throughout their lives.
Dr Davidson said: “The emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis can cause just as much pain to their mental health as the physical treatment can to their bodies. How do you process what you have been through and try to return to some sense of normality? How do go back to school, manage friendships, return to work or support your other children?”
“After years of working with young people and their families not just during treatment but afterwards in the immediate and long-term follow up has shown me how it isn’t so simple as end of treatment hurrah! And put it all behind you, if only….
“The trauma leaves some children, and increasingly their parents, with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And if left undealt with I see the very long-term impact.”
Speaking at the Ball, Donna Holland, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, said: “I’m so proud of Rockinghorse’s ability to connect local people to ground-breaking and life-saving local projects. Thanks to the incredible support of everyone at this year’s Rockinghorse Glitter Ball we will be able to launch a brand-new cancer support service supporting children and their families all over Sussex.
“This service will support children and families coping with the trauma and lasting effects that cancer treatment can bring and means that families in Sussex have access to life-changing support on their doorstep.
“Thanks to our wonderful guests, brilliant sponsors and kind supporters this year’s Glitter Ball will leave a lasting legacy for support for children and their families in Sussex.”
Throughout the evening guests were able to enjoy performances by students of The Theatre Workshop, who sang two musical medleys, a delicious three-course meal, live music from The Alison David Band and a disco courtesy of Capital DJ, Dave Goodings.
Not only is this an amazing amount of money, but it’s made even more impressive as every single one of these prizes were donated absolutely free, including meals at eight of Sussex’s best fine dining restaurants, a ‘money can’t buy’ training ground experience at Brighton & Hove Albion FC and a private wine tasting session with wine expert and tv personality Olly Smith.
Olly said, “I was so pleased to be able to offer a prize to be auctioned at the Rockinghorse Glitter Ball. Rockinghorse is a wonderful charity that does so much for so many across Sussex. I have recently become an ambassador for them and I’m really looking forward to offering more support in the future. Congratulations to the whole team for organising such a successful event!”
Donna said, “This year’s Rockinghorse Glitter Ball has been utterly brilliant. I would personally like to thank everyone who joined us including the wonderful NHS staff who work so hard to support so many children and young people.
“Our Glitter Ball has raised £58,000 – and it’s all thanks to our incredibly generous supporters and our wonderful sponsors, including our headline sponsors and charity partners The Agora Clinic. The legacy of this event will be a brand-new cancer support service – helping children and their families after cancer treatment.”
Take a look at our great video from the evening:
Thanks to everyone who helped us raised such an amazing amount of money and we hope you all had a fabulous, glittery evening!
You can also see all the images taken by our wonderful photographer Stephen Johnson, who kindly donates his time for free. And if you would like to purchase any of these files or prints, Stephen has kindly offered to donate 20% of the purchase price to Rockinghorse!