charity ball largeSharp suits and flapper dresses were on show as more than £31,000 – enough to save more than 2,000 lives in developing countries – was raised at a North East charity event.

Northumbrian Water’s annual WaterAid Ball took on a Bugsy Malone theme, with around 300 guests, many in fancy dress, inspired by the 1976 Alan Parker film, at the Newcastle Marriott, Gosforth Park.

The money – totalling £31,226 – will go to Northumbrian Water’s international charity partner, WaterAid, which works in 37 countries worldwide, transforming millions of lives every year in some of the world’s poorest communities by providing clean water, safe toilets and hygiene education. 

Last year, Northumbrian Water pledged to raise £1 million by 2020 for WaterAid projects in Madagascar, saving some 70,000 lives.

Northumbrian WaterAid Chairman, Andrew Blakemore, said: “To raise over £31,000 in one night is fantastic – and we didn’t have to turn the splurge guns on anyone!

“Supporting WaterAid is something hugely close to our hearts, especially its projects in Madagascar, where 4,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. In 2016, this is totally unacceptable and heartbreaking. We’re determined to do something about it.”

More than £25,000 was raised at the WaterAid Ball last year, which was Wild West themed. 

Rachel Westcott, Director of People and Organisational Development, WaterAid: “I was both humbled and excited by the passion and commitment in the room to change lives; by the sense of outrage that so many still do not have access to clean water and to sanitation; and by the strength of partnership between Northumbrian Water and WaterAid. The monies raised were fantastic and will have a significant impact – transforming lives in Madagascar”