160 APPEAL: Fund boosted by a little night fever

This Is Wiltshire: Natalie and Steve Hearn present a cheque for £2,600 raised from the Valentine’s event to Amy Francombe of the Prospect Hospice Natalie and Steve Hearn present a cheque for £2,600 raised from the Valentine’s event to Amy Francombe of the Prospect Hospice

A GROOVY ball has helped swell Prospect Hospice’s coffers and boost the Adver’s 160 Appeal in one fell swoop with £2,600 raised towards the vital care to terminally-ill patients.

A Valentine’s Day dance featuring Stayin’ Alive, a Bee Gees tribute band, attracted 280 revellers to the De Vere Leisure Village on Friday for a night of disco classics.

Despite the event’s unexpected change of venue at the eleventh hour, guests all took the slight hiccup in their stride and proved their boundless generosity by emptying the pockets of their flared trousers throughout the ball.

This was organiser Natalie Hearn’s second dance for Prospect after a popular 1970s theme extravaganza in October.

But despite the success of last autumn’s event, she never expected the disco night to raise such a large sum for the Wroughton hospice.

“We wanted to do something for Prospect because they work extremely hard for patients and their families,” said the 32-year-old from the town centre, who was supported by her husband Stephen through the planning process.

“Everybody will know someone affected by cancer at some point and we have lost friends and loved ones to cancer. It’s a charity close to our hearts.

“We raised £2,100 at our last event in October and we really wanted to beat that this time. But I thought we would just be a little over.

“People couldn’t buy enough raffle tickets; it was amazing. We made £400 from the raffle in one hour.”

Initially due to be held at the Swindon Town Legends Lounge, the event had to be moved because Swindon Town were playing a match at the County Ground that same night.

Natalie added: “Having to find a venue in five days was stressful. We had to contact 280 people and rearrange everything. “But it ended up having no impact; everyone came and we raised an amazing amount. It’s nice to know the money is going somewhere where it’s going to be used well.”

Prospect fundraiser Amy Francombe said: “We are delighted that Natalie and Steve raised £2,605.71 through their Valentine’s Ball, to add to the £2,103.22 they raised in October.

“Their shared passion for fundraising for Prospect Hospice makes them ideal to lead our latest fundraising support group in Swindon town centre.

“We are hopeful that many people will want to join them in their drive to consolidate the support for Prospect Hospice in this part of our local community.”

To find out more about Prospect Hospice’s Swindon Town Centre Support Group, contact Amy on 01793 815142.

Natalie will hold a Soul and Motown dance on June 20 at Swindon Town Legends Lounge.

To find out more or book a place call Natalie on 07796 137770.

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