One of the biggest and brightest charitable events in the region’s calendar took place at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate on Saturday night (November 12th) and once again Yorkshire dug deep – with an astonishing £285,000 raised for Barnardo’s.

The Firecracker Ball, which is now in its 15th year supporting Barnardo’s, takes place every November in a huge themed marquee attached to Rudding Park Hotel and this year 720 guests were treated to a night at the circus – with the interior transformed into a giant big top complete with circus performers, treats, games, world class entertainment and, of course, a strict ringmaster.

Barnardo’s vice president and chair of the Firecracker Ball committee, Phil Taylor said: “Every year we begin the planning and think how on earth can we even come close to what we did last year? And every year I wake up the day after and count myself lucky to have such an amazing committee working so very hard to pull it all together and, of course, the astonishing generosity of the people of Yorkshire who come every year and dig so very, very deep for such a wonderful charity.”

“In fact, the only thing missing from the night was a live lion – but sadly the health and safety people weren’t keen.”

Highlights of the ball included a moving speech from Madeah – a Yorkshire based foster parent who has previously had her own life turned around thanks to intervention and support by Barnardo’s; an auction of money can’t buy prizes, including lots donated by Sir Richard Branson, Ben de Lisi, Darren Gough and a performance from Brit, MTV and Ivor Novello Award winners, All Saints.

Sir Richard Branson, joined the night via video link and thanked the people of Yorkshire for their continuing support and urged them to dig deep when the auction began. His words certainly had an impact, with the 10 lots publically auctioned raising virtually £150,000 in less than half an hour.

All funds raised on the night will be donated to Barnardo’s in Yorkshire, who each year help almost 14,000 children, young people and their families in over 80 specialised projects in local communities. Since the first Firecracker Ball for Barnardo’s in 2002, the event has now raised over £2.3 million.  

Kirsty Guy, relationship manager, from Barnardo’s said: “The funds raised by The Firecracker Ball are invaluable in helping various Barnardo’s services across Yorkshire continue to offer vital services and support to vulnerable young people when and where they need it the most.”

“None of what we achieve every year would be possible without the help of our sponsors and supporters so we do need to thank the likes of Evans Property Group, Phillip Stoner Jewellers, UBS, Angel Events, Oakapple Group and Source Marketing Communications amongst others for everything they do for the both the ball and Barnardo’s.”

If you would like to find out more about the event please visit Firecracker Ball 2017 will take place on 11th November 2017; it is never too early to find out how to be a sponsor, donate a prize, or book tickets!