A Newcastle-based charity committed to providing precious memories for young people at the end of their life is marking its tenth anniversary with a special charity ball this month.
The glitzy ball in aid of Josie’s Dragonfly Trust will be held on Saturday October 28, at Newcastle’s Assembly Rooms with a champagne reception, three course meal, high end auction prizes and live music with all proceeds going to the charity.
Josie’s Dragonfly Trust was set up in 2007 in memory of Josie Grove who died at the age of 16 from acute myeloid leukemia after raising vast amounts of money for charity. The Trust has helped hundreds of young people receiving palliative care fulfil their dreams and create memories with their families, friends and loved ones.
“The number of requests for support has escalated so much over the past decade that the charity has expanded its reach across the country,” explained director of fundraising for the Trust, Jane Dennison.
“Josie’s Dragonfly Trust supports over 36 hospitals nationwide working with teams who care for young people (to the age of 24) who would like to do something special in their final months of life, and the team of 15 core volunteers and trustees have to work quite quickly sometimes having to grant applications within 24 or 48 hours.
“This is why fundraising balls are so important to the survival of such worthy charities as money raised on the night goes towards making these dreams come true.
“Sometimes, the wishes we provide are simple things that many of us take for granted such as a takeaway and a DVD night for the whole family to enjoy together or in one case, a 16-year-old fashionista wanted to own a designer suit, and he got to wear it every day in his final few days – ‘going out in style’ he said.
“It’s a really sad story, but the difference it made to him and his family was enormous – he got his final wish.”
The evening will commence with an auction consisting of luxurious weekend getaways, gift vouchers for family days out, boats trips, champagne cases and more, with the trustees hoping to raise significant amount of money from the event to boost funds to enable the Trust to provide more dreams for patients.
“Providing the cash gifts for these young people helps empower them and give them back a little control when their illness has taken that control away,” Jane continued.
“All too often, young people are reluctant to ask their families for anything knowing how much they have struggled to help them and many families losing their jobs as a result of taking time off work to care for them. The money allows the patients to do some very selfless and special things, most of which are to ensure people never forget them and that they leave their footprint on the world.”
This year Josie’s Dragonfly Trust also established the Footprint Fund, which aims to support families immediately after a child’s bereavement at the time when other sources of support no longer available. They have helped parents make a memory garden for their child, created seating areas where families and friends can go to reflect and enabled precious photographs to be turned in to paintings.
‘It gives you a perspective on life and what really is important,’ said Jane. ‘It’s about creating memories – not just for themselves, but for everyone they’re leaving behind.”
Tickets for the event are £65pp or £60pp for a table of 8, 10 or 12. The Dragonfly Ball starts at 6.30pm on Saturday October 28 until 1am. For tickets please visit www.josiesdragonfly.org or email@example.com