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On a chilly November night, over 180 guests braved the cold and arrived in style to a warm 5-star
welcome at Manchester’s iconic Lowry Hotel, where the annual MedEquip4Kids Shimmer Ball took place.

Guests were treated to a champagne reception and a luxurious banquet cooked by the supremely talented Lowry chefs.  The magician for the night went from table to table, engaging each group with his astonishing magic tricks. A caricaturist was also on hand to make people smile with sketches that captured their expressions perfectly.

After the dinner the audience heard a moving testimony from MedEquip4Kids supporter, Andrew Hibbert. Andrew’s son Matthew was born premature in a critical condition at Wigan Infirmary. Sadly his twin brother Mark died the next day due to a complicated illness.  Matthew remained ill in the neo natal unit for weeks before he was able to go home. Thankfully he recovered well and is now a happy and mischievous little boy.

The team at Wigan were able to provide dedicated round-the-clock care for Matthew because the right equipment was on hand to support his needs. Andrew has run in a number of races, including the Manchester Marathon, to raise funds for the charity, and MedEquip4Kids recently donated a new incubator to the neo natal at Wigan, which uses all the latest technology to keep babies like Matthew healthy and warm.

Andrew said: “After 72 days Matthew was finally able to come home and that will always be one of the happiest days of my life. Like so many, I should owe the NHS tens of thousands of pounds; however, I get to thank them for a lifetime of priceless memories.”

Following the speeches, an auction was held for fabulous prizes including a diamond ring, tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera, and seats at Manchester United’s Boxing Day game. To complete the programme, a live band provided the soundtrack for a night of dancing and fun.

The event raised an amazing £35,000 for the charity. MedEquip4Kids Chief Executive Ghazala Baig said: “We are so grateful to all the companies and individuals who attended the Shimmer Ball, took part in the auction, or donated prizes.”

“Last year we were able to have a positive impact on over 80,000 babies and children, an achievement of which we’re very proud. As 2020 approaches, we have plans to support even more children across the region, and the funds raised tonight will help us to give them the fantastic healthcare they deserve.”

 More images of the ball are available here.

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“This donation has enabled us to use more varied and useful therapeutic toys and games when working with children and young people with mental health difficulties, as well as using extra clinic rooms which are now more child-friendly. This has helped reduced anxiety about coming to CAMHS and meant that family therapy can be done. Both parents of a 10 year old boy can now attend with their 5 year old as the youngest child can play with our new resources in the waiting room or clinic space. The 10 year old benefited from therapeutic games about thoughts/feelings and we were also able to observe imaginative play for assessment.”

Dr Eleanor Oswald
Clinical Psychologist, CAMHS
Vale of Leven Hospital

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