The Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Linda Huggett, hosted a Valentines Ball for Haven House Children’s Hospice and Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday 10 February which raised over £20,000.

More than 100 guests attended the gala event at Bancroft's School in Woodford Green including Haven House Patrons Vicki Michelle MBE and Iain Duncan Smith MP.

Along with a drinks reception, three-course dinner and raffle, guests enjoyed live music from piano player and singer Jordan Marsh and his ‘Mini’ Big Band.

The auction was conducted by Iain Duncan Smith MP and auction lots included a helicopter ride for two, a private plane trip to France, a spa day for two and a hand-made quilt from the sister in law of a patient at Saint Francis Hospice. 

Haven House also donated two pieces of artwork from one of its teenagers, Harry Luxton, who uses the hospice and has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Haven House and Saint Francis Hospice are the Mayor’s chosen charities for 2017/18. The Mayor’s Appeal aims to encourage the public to raise funds for local causes throughout the municipal year.

The Mayor of Redbridge, Councillor Linda Huggett, said: “Haven House Children’s Hospice and Saint Francis Hospice are two very special charities which are close to my heart and I am thrilled that the Valentines Ball raised an incredible amount of funds for both of them.

“The hospices do such vital work of caring for children and adults with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions in our borough and it was great to see such a generous show of support from guests at the Ball.

“I would like to thank our sponsor Barclays Bank, Bancroft's School and everyone who helped to put on such a fantastic event.”

Mike Palfreman, Chief Executive of Haven House, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Mayor of Redbridge for supporting our hospice throughout the past year with the Mayor’s Appeal.

“The Valentines Ball was a wonderful evening and the funds raised will help us care for even more life-limited children and their families.

“We are also delighted that Mayor generously purchased one of the excellent pieces of artwork from one of our teenagers.”

“Pam Court, CEO of Saint Francis Hospice said: “I was delighted to attend the Mayor’s Gala Ball. It was lovely to meet with community leaders and supporters of both hospices, and to come together to raise funds for end of life care in Redbridge.

“The money raised will make a real difference to people in our community who sadly need specialist end of life care.

“The Mayor and her Appeal Committee have worked tirelessly to raise funds and the profile of her charities, and I am very grateful that Saint Francis Hospice has been chosen to receive such generous support.”