25th Daffodil Ball raises thousands for Sheffield children

David & Jean Fyfe have raised over £970,000 for charity after hosting their 25th annual ball in aid of The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Daffodil Ball 2015

Over 200 supporters, including singer Katie Melua and James Toseland, came together on March 7th for the Daffodil Ball, hosted by David and Jean at Sheffield’s Baldwin’s Omega.

All money raised from the ball will support the charity’s Make it Better appeal, which was launched in 2012 to help transform the hospital into a world-class facility to match the existing world-class care. As part of the appeal, kind donors pledged £23,000 to bring a ground-breaking 3T MRI scanner to The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield – currently this specialist piece of equipment cannot be found in the UK and is only available in three countries worldwide.

The £3m scanner is able to produce images during surgery so surgeons can carry out assessments in a sterile environment when necessary without the need to resuscitate the patient or close the surgical wound. This means that the surgeon will be able to have a more concise idea regarding the size and location of the tumour, even in places which are not easy to reach.

Mr Shungu Ushewokunze, Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon at The Children’s Hospital, said: “Neurosurgery in children has to have strong links with the latest technology in order to achieve the very best results. This piece of equipment will mean our hospital is a world-leader in the treatment of brain tumours in children.

“We are in the process of building the most advanced paediatric neurosurgery facility anywhere in the world, and all the money raised will have a profound positive impact on children not just from Sheffield and South Yorkshire, but from around the world too.”

The evening’s host, David Fyfe, who has been involved in organising the Daffodil Ball for the past 25 years, said: “It all started in 1990. Together with our friends Nigel & Sandra Worthington we set up what we thought was a “one-off” ball raising £5,000. We have now passed our 25th year, raising over £970,000 in total. We are proud to support The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield and would like to thank the generosity of those that have contributed to our success over the years.”

The evening was supported by many local businesses and individuals, including Richard Caborn. Special thanks go to champagne sponsors Richard and Pat Howard alongside two main sponsors, Jeremy Priestley of the P&A Partnership and Michael Craven from Brewin Dolphin. Money was raised from sales of tickets, a tombola – featuring prizes including a television, tablet, meals out and luxury goods. There was also an auction and a silent auction, with prizes ranging from six VIP tickets to see One Direction at the Motorpoint Arena, a holiday to Iceland, and a 30kg giant Easter egg.

The Children’s Hospital Charity Director, David Vernon-Edwards, said: “We are always overwhelmed by the support we receive from members of the public who are tireless in the fundraising efforts, and generous in their donations.

“Tonight’s donations will be contributing to our Make it Better appeal where we are making great progress in raising the necessary funds for this wonderful transformation of the hospital – events such as the Daffodil Ball are a vital way to raise the necessary funds to make it happen. We’d like to thank David and Jean for once again supporting us.”

The Children’s Hospital, Sheffield, is one of only four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK and is a centre of excellence in many areas including neuroscience.

The event was also reported in local newspaper The Star.

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