Thousands raised for children’s charity

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A ball to boost funds for the Hastings children’s bereavement charity, Dragonflies, raised more than £3,600.

Around 130 guests gathered at Powdermills Hotel in Battle for an evening of food, entertainment and live music.

The event was jointly organised by Jenny Eldridge, Kaia Relfe, Lisa Yeats and Katie Beckett, who have been helped by Dragonflies after Katie’s husband, Will, took his own life last year and the charity helped their children.

This year marks the second year the ball has taken place and earned much-needed funds for charity. There was an auction, raffle, photo booth and popular local band, The Saxon Five, performed a medley of hits.

Lesley Brown from Dragonflies gave a very moving opening address about the work the charity does, and 13-year-old Ella Andrew sang two songs accompanied by her grandfather, Robert Andrew, on keyboard.

Main organiser Jenny lost her own dad from leukaemia when she was two years old and wants to help other children in her situation.

She said: “After my friend Will died last year, I saw first-hand the excellent work Dragonflies did with his children, Tom and Joe.

“We held this event on their behalf and because I know what it’s like to grow up without a parent.

“I’m close to Joe and Tom’s family and have known them since they were born.

“Even though they were left broken-hearted when their dad died, they wanted to help other children in the same situation.

“They’ve organised colouring competitions, a craft fair, a concert and even took part in the junior section of the Battle 10K run to help raise funds for Dragonflies.

“We’re so grateful to everyone involved in this ball and those who generously donated prizes for our auction and raffle.

“One of the auction lots was a beautiful handmade quilt crafted by the Wonky WI of Bexhill, which sold for £350, and an incredible three holidays were up for grabs, including a weekend break from the Oliver Curd Trust, a week in Cornwall, thanks to the Andrew family, and a stay at Cheverton Copse in the Isle of Wight, which was kindly donated by the Morfee family.”