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On Saturday 3rd December, we celebrated our 14th annual MedEquip4Kids Shimmer Ball at the five-star Lowry Hotel, bringing together 150 guests for a glamorous evening of fabulous food, dancing and casino games. Thanks to the generosity of our guests and sponsors, an amazing £36,254 was raised to improve children’s health in the North West.

Since 1985 MedEquip4Kids has provided medical equipment for children in NHS hospitals. For the last five years, we have also been delivering the Hummingbird Project, a six-week course for schools to help young people learn about the activities that can help them feel happier. The Hummingbird Project has reached 3,292 pupils in the North West and has had amazing feedback from staff and pupils alike.

The Ceremonial Mayor and Mayoress of Salford

Amongst our guests were the Ceremonial Mayor and Mayoress of Salford. The Ceremonial Mayor, Ann-Marie Humphreys, says: “My Mayoress and I were delighted to attend the Shimmer Ball in aid of MedEqip4Kids. I was very impressed with the presentations of how the charity has benefitted many children and especially the work of the Hummingbird Project. Their mental health workshops are doing great work in schools helping many children and young people.

“I am delighted that the evening was a success and Emma and I really enjoyed the dinner, the interesting company and a flutter with the glamorous Casino Royal theme.  It’s great to hear that this event raised so much for the charity and was a great success!”

Also attending were the psychologists who help us develop the Hummingbird Project: Professor Jerome Carson at the University of Bolton, Dr. Chathurika Kannangara, also at the University of Bolton, and Dr Michelle Tytherleigh at the University of Chester.

After the dinner, Professor Carson and Dr Tytherleigh spoke to the audience about our partnership and the urgent need for children’s mental health support. Our next speaker was Rachel Connolly, Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at St Peter’s CE Primary School in Ashton-under-Lyne, who shared some lovely feedback from the pupils at her school about the Hummingbird Project.

A charity auction followed, with fantastic prizes of an 18ct yellow gold and diamond half eternity ring, courtesy of AKA Bespoke Jewellers, a Valentine’s day weekend for two at Augill Castle, and clay pigeon shooting for two, courtesy of Catton Hall Shooting Ground Ltd. Finally, guests gathered around the casino or the dance floor.

MedEquip4Kids Chief Executive Ghazala Baig says: “I’d like to thank all the companies and individuals who attended the Shimmer Ball on Saturday, which raised over £36,000. As you know the charity supports hospitals across the North West, however this year the ball was about our very special Hummingbird Project, which supports children’s mental health in schools. Thank you and hope to see you all next year.”

 With thanks to: Lyndon SGB, Together, Chris Wilson, Specialist Risk Group, The University of Bolton, Dynamic Estate Planning Ltd, Bridge Law Solicitors Ltd, Arbion, The James Group, Bridgestones, AKA Bespoke Jewellers, OakNorth Bank, G1 Global Ltd, Anfield UK Ltd, Waterman Group, Property Chase Ltd, BBK Partnership, Jack Morton, Jack Livingstone, Tobi Mahalla, Dreamwork GB, ESSA Foundation, Brian White Ltd, The Law Trust Limited, Dominvs Group, Hotel Brooklyn, Catton Hall Shooting Ground Ltd, Adventure Cheshire, Pier Fun Casinos, and Slattery’s.

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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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