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North East Children’s Charity Ball Raises Thousands to Boost Education Projects in Africa


Nov 8, 2017 #charity

Tyneside based international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) is celebrating after raising thousands of pounds at a black-tie ball.  Following a hugely successful year which saw the charity surpass £4 million in donations since its foundation, COCO kick-started fundraising of the next four million at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.  Between them, the 220 guests at the event on 11 November raised over £11,000, which will be used to boost the charity’s Schools For Life programme in East Africa.

The 2017 COCO Ball was hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Anna Foster, with entertainment provided by one of the region’s best-known party bands, Storm.  COCO’s CEO Lucy Kendall and co-founder Steve Cram also took to the stage to help co-ordinate fundraising that included games, a raffle and an auction.

Guests learned more about Schools for Life, which marked its three-year anniversary recently.  Since its inception, Schools for Life has enabled 2,360 young people from eight communities in three countries – Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya – to access sustainable education in a safe environment.  The programme covers six key elements; shelterpower, water and sanitation, foodsports and recreation, and entrepreneurship.  Guests included long-time supporters of COCO from the North East business community, along with many individuals who have contributed to the charity’s work and fundraising in the years since its foundation.

Lucy Philipson, CEO of COCO, comments: “It was a brilliant night and raising another £11,000 was a fitting way to build on the £4 million fundraising milestone that we reached earlier this year.  In fact, £4 million was the theme of the night – celebrating achievements to date and getting on with raising the next millions that will help us deliver vital education projects for young people in East Africa.  We’re hugely grateful to everyone who joined us and contributed to such a brilliant total on the night.  And of course, it was a great opportunity to put on the glad rags and enjoy ourselves – our guests certainly seemed to be doing that!”

COCO was co-founded by Steve Cram and British Army Major Jim Panton in 2000 and its headquarters are in Newcastle.  COCO invests in small, sustainable, community led initiatives that can make a big difference at a local level.  COCO has supported over 66 transformational projects in 16 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 200,000 people.

To find out more about the work of COCO or to donate visit www.coco.org.uk, find the charity on Facebook or follow @COCO_Charity on Twitter.

By Emily