Friday 11th November was the first time in over 3 years that we were able to meet up with business friends of the charity and this was no ordinary Gala Ball! In its 10th year, Val Huxley was celebrating organising her last ball as Chief Executive Officer, ready to pass on the baton of leadership of the charity to her new colleague and CEO Belinda Wadsworth.
The evening started with a welcome reception drink of Bucks Fizz for its guests. The tables were adorned with golden table decorations and gifts, each guest receiving a beautifully presented handmade cupcake decorated in gold, donated by Laura Huxley, to compliment the Golden Gala Ball theme. A great choice of table wine was supplied due to the generous sponsorship of Andrew Fisher of The Alanbrookes Group.
To get into the fun of the evening a game of Heads n Tails was played and the winner of the game was provided with an Amazon Gift Card and a bottle of Prosecco kindly donated from a sponsor of the charity.
As the delicious three course meal was served, Val Huxley gave a short presentation updating guests on the wide-ranging work of the charity, including our Vocational Tailoring Skills for the Vulnerable project in Malawi, setting up Borehole Wells in India, and providing white goods and fresh vegetables through our Dignity Project supporting families in crisis here in the UK.
Harvey Maylor, Trustee of People against Poverty then said a few words, honouring Val for her tireless and inspiring work over 15 years in her role as CEO, and explaining her new role as part time Mission Director, working directly with our projects and partners to support their development and growth. He then introduced Belinda Wadsworth, our new CEO, who said a few words about how excited she is to be taking over the leadership of People Against Poverty and thanking our generous donors for their ongoing support as we look to continue and grow the charity for the future.
Bill Huxley, Trustee, then said a few words to thank some our longest serving Business Against Poverty members: Chris May of Mayden, Simon Long of SLTS (South West) Ltd, Jules English & Jim Parry of Triangle Design, Jerry Walsingham of Honey Legal, and Nic Wylde of Nicholas Wylde Goldsmith & Jeweller, all of whom have been members of Business against Poverty since its inception in 2009.
Colin Morley, MC for the evening, came with some jokes along the way to put a smile (or groan!) on people’s faces as he started our main auction selling beautiful paintings donated by local artists Natalie Bedford and Maria Van Tintelen, lovely bathroom accessories by Peter Hirsch, Total Bathrooms, fantastic hotel gifts consisting of Afternoon Tea at Bailbrook House and 2 night stay at The Ro Hotel Windemere. Other smaller gifts were also auctioned and helped to raise essential funds for the charity’s work. Alongside the main auction was a silent auction provided by Give Fundraising who showcased some beautiful artwork, memorabilia and outstanding holiday breaks. Again, the generosity of our guests in purchasing these items gave the charity vital supplemental funding for our work to relieve poverty.
Once all the formalities of the evening were completed, Break the Silence blasted the dancefloor with their great selection of music, modern tunes along with a few of the golden oldies, and lots of moves were made.
The party continued until midnight and everyone chatted and left feeling uplifted and happy, ready to start their weekend.
We would like to thank all our sponsors for this event: Simon Long of Simon Long of SLTS (South West) Ltd, Andrew Fisher of The Alanbrookes Group and Keith Lunt of Opal Print. We would also like thank everyone who attended, who purchased tickets and auction items and made it such a great evening to support our ongoing work to help communities around the world and here in the UK who are working hard to lift themselves out of poverty. We and they couldn’t do it without you!