• Sun. Dec 10th, 2023

North East Connected

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Tyneside based international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) is celebrating after raising £20,500 at its 13th black-tie ball.  The glittering event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Newcastle on 17th November saw 229 guests dig deep to ensure the annual fundraiser was COCO’s most successful yet; raising much-needed funds to support the charity’s education projects in East Africa.

The 2018 COCO Ball was hosted by BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown, with entertainment provided by one of the region’s best-known party bands, Storm.  COCO’s CEO Lucy Kendall and co-founder Steve Cram CBE also took to the stage to help co-ordinate fundraising that included an auction, prize draw, silent auction and raffle.

As well as being an opportunity to get dressed up and have a good time, the COCO Ball was a chance to remind people of COCO’s achievements to-date and its future priorities.  Guests heard about many aspects of COCO’s work including the progress of the Schools for Life programme, which has so far enabled 2500 young people from communities in 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.

Lucy Kendall, CEO of COCO, comments: “We are absolutely thrilled to have raised an amazing £20,500 from the COCO Ball.  This is the most ever raised by the event and it will make a huge difference to our work in delivering vital education projects to support young people in East Africa.

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who joined us, including many of our old friends and new faces to the COCO family, who contributed to such a brilliant total on the night.  It really was a spectacular occasion and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.”

The COCO Ball was sponsored by the Crowne Plaza, Bang On and Grosvenor Casinos.

COCO was co-founded by Steve Cram and British Army Major Jim Panton in 2000 and its headquarters are in Newcastle.  COCO’s activities have made a positive impact on the lives of more than 200,000 people in East Africa through 50 transformational projects covering 16 countries.  Last year COCO succeeded in reaching a major fundraising milestone of £4 million in donations received.

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.