Support Staffordshire has a Ball!

On the 18th November, Paul Deakin and Katie Hughes from the Fundraising Team at Support Staffordshire hosted their very first Ball at Keele Hall. The theme was a Winter Wonderland: The Chronicles of Narnia.

As guests arrived and ascended the stone steps, they were greeted by the sounds of a 1940’s Railway Station as the story begins with children being sent away to the countryside because of the War. Here, guests could enjoy a welcome drink and also have the opportunity to have a professional photograph taken by photographer Carol Bailey and her team. Following this, guests were then led downstairs and were transported through the wardrobe into to Narnia by entering a pine cone and fern laden corridor which was truly magical and felt like you were stepping into a fairy tale. Goodie bags were given and guests were invited to go through the draped doorway into the Grand Ballroom. Everyone truly felt as though you were stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia as Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy did in the story. Ice sculptures, beautifully decorated tables, lights and friendly staff and volunteers helped to set the scene for what was to come.

The evening begin with a welcome from our Chief Exec Garry Jones and then a delicious 3 course meal was served. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on the silent auction which had some great prizes, and also to take a look at the live auction prizes which would take place later in the evening.

Once everyone had finished their meals, it was time for the show. It told the story of the Chronicles of Narnia and how Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy discover Narnia and all of it’s secrets. This included meeting the infamous faun Mr Tumnus, battling with the White Witch and of course the heroic Aslan. Pupils from Stagecoach Stoke took to the stage and performed a variety of songs through singing and dancing which really captured the story, as well as the hearts of all of the audience. These were supported by an adult cast of singers who performed breath taking numbers and really helped bring the show to life.

Following this, the host for the evening – Paul Deakin, Fundraising and Development Manager at Support Staffordshire – hosted the live auction for guests to bid. All prizes had been donated and they included tickets to any football match at Wembley and some amazing fine art paintings. A prize draw followed before the dance floor was open and guests could dance to the disco until carriages at midnight.

A fantastic evening was had by all, and it brought together lots of people from our Business Partners to charity members of Support Staffordshire.

We want to say a huge thank you to those that attended and supported the event, it really meant so much to us that our first Ball was a success because of you!

Special thanks goes to our sponsors – Think Insurance, Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, Little Rocket Creative, Windmills, Grace Cares, Socially Grown and the Staffordshire Football Association. A huge thank you also goes to Stagecoach Stoke and all of their staff, pupils and parents for supporting our show as it truly was magical. Thank you to Ali Spender for the music. Thank you to our venue dresser Head Over Heels who made the venue look incredible and also to Carol Bailey Photography for capturing the evening. Thank you to Owen Productions for the sound. Thank you to North Staffs Operatic Society for the costumes. Thank you to Keele Hall and all of their staff. Thank you all of those who donated prizes for our auction and prize draw. Thank you to our Finance Team, Debbie Wellecomme and Jeanette Gethin, for helping us on the night.

To view the photos of the evening please visit

Our next Ball is booked for the 23rd November at the Doubletree by Hilton, Stoke-on-Trent and the theme will be The Greatest Showman! Tickets are already on sale and you can reserve yours and get more information by emailing [email protected]

Image of Support Staffordshire staff. 
From left to right 
Jeanette Gethin 
Paul Deakin
Katie Hughes
Debbie Wellecomme
Garry Jones
Jan Wilson
Jayne Ison

Support Staffordshire Staff from left to right – Jeanette Gethin, Paul Deakin, Katie Hughes, Debbie Wellecomme, Garry Jones, Jan Wilson and Jayne Ison © Carol Bailey Photography Ltd

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