2018 saw us celebrate our 25th Anniversary – what an achievement!

In addition to the Family Picnic we held last August we also held a Charity Ball at the Leeds Marriott Hotel in October …. This really took me out of my comfort zone, activities and picnics I have organised before … but a Ball? We pulled it off though and had a fabulous fun filled evening raising a fabulous amount of money along the way:

£1934.45 was taken on the evening from donations, raffle funds and a few fundraising games … it’s amazing what a few people will do to win a bottle of champagne but, stomp balloons they did!

£99.80 was kindly donated by the hotel as 10% of the bar takings …. not bad going since there was wine and water on the table plus a reception Pimms on arrival!

The whole evening was not however all about fundraising, it was an opportunity to thank all Trustees over the years, professionals involved with the Group both medical and legal and most importantly Group members and their families – we had a fabulous mix of all amongst our attendees.

In the words of our Chair, Karen Hillyer, “On Behalf of the Trustees of the EPG I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those of you who managed to make it to our 25th Anniversary Ball. I can’t quite believe how fast 25 years have passed. It was wonderful to catch up with two of the founder members of the Charity, Eunice Scott-Smith and Ruth Mansell – without these lovely ladies and the rest of the forward thinking people, we would not have the support group that we have now. It has been my privilege and pleasure to work alongside them over the years. The Charity has been a lifeline to me and my family and to celebrate its anniversary with the current Trustees and also Former Trustees has been a truly wonderful celebration – thank you ALL“

We commenced the evening with a reception drink of Pimms or Orange Juice before being escorted to the function suite via a giant Ipad displaying ‘Where in the World am I Sitting?’. Some were taken to St. Basils’ Cathedral, others to Stonehenge, Niagara Falls or Taj Mahal!

Once seated, Karen welcomed all guests before we played our presentation – thank you to Amy Swift for the hours of hard work put into this! There was also a special message from Group Member, Kim Hawksby. Whilst Kim was thanking her Mum, her specialist team and solicitor, we felt the thanks resonated with a number of adults with Erb’s and their experiences:

“Hi Guys, Greetings from India! I’m so gutted that I can’t be with you at the Ball tonight, I hope you have an absolutely fantastic time. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you so much to the Erb’s Palsy Group for all that they’ve done over the last 25 years. Your work is really, really, really appreciated. I also want to say a big thank you to the Team from Leeds that I know are there tonight. I hope you have fun. Thank you so much for all you do for everyone involved with the Erb’s Palsy Group, you really do make a difference to people’s quality of life and it’s always good to have a nice chat when I come to clinic! I also want to say a big thank you to Cathie Delaney who has been there for us during our claim when I was younger and is still there supporting me now. And lastly I want to say thank you to my Mum (Julie Helliwell). Have a really good time tonight with Paul and everyone else and be careful, don’t drink too much wine and once again, thank you so much especially to Karen and all the committee for everything that you do and enjoy. Enjoy the night and hope your heads are not too sore tomorrow. Bye!”

Following a delicious meal, we enjoyed a raffle and a couple of fundraising games before we danced into the early hours. Thank you also to Claire-Joanna MacManus for putting on her trainers and teaching us all a few dance moves to raise some extra funds.

Here are a few photos taken from the evening to show how much fun we had …