Together for Short Lives, the UK charity for seriously ill children, proudly presented Percy’s Dreamland Ball on 9 November, in partnership with M&S Food and sponsored by OK! Hosted by Together for Short Lives’ Patron Simon Cowell, guests enjoyed the dreamiest evening of star-studded live entertainment and the finest hospitality in support of the 99,000 families up and down the UK, caring for a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition.
The Together for Short Lives Ball is held in aid of families facing the heartbreak that their child will die young. Funds raised from the evening totalled a fantastic £370,000 will help the charity reach the growing number of families caring for seriously ill children.
Simon Cowell, Patron for Together for Short Lives and host for the night said:
“After a year away from this amazing ball, and loss of income from events, it is more important than ever to help Together for Short Lives. I’ve had the privilege of being their patron for many years and have seen their incredible work at first-hand; providing support to families caring for seriously ill and vulnerable children and helping them to make the most of every moment they have together, whether that is for years, months or just hours.”
In honour of the ball’s namesake, the red carpet turned pink for one night only, as Percy and Penny Pig joined the stars their first ever ball. Other special guests included the night’s compère Tom Allen, Patron Simon Cowell and his partner Lauren Silverman, plus big names like Alesha Dixon, Jo O’Meara, Janette Manrara, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Tamzin Outhwaite.
Stuart Machin, M&S Joint-CEO and MD of M&S Food said:
“M&S Food is a very proud supporter of Together for Short Lives; the work they do to support families across the UK is truly inspirational, and I am delighted we have been able to play a role in their vital work.”
After a sumptuous dinner, with wines generously donated by M&S wine supplier, Paul Sapin and Domaine des Jeanne, guests were joined by R&B superstar Craig David for an unforgettable night’s entertainment, music and dancing. With celebrations and dancing continuing into the night with a special DJ set from Roman Kemp.
Other celebrity guests included Together for Short Lives’ Ambassador Lance Corporal of Horse, Richard Jones, Kelly Hoppen EastEnders stars Emma Barton and Gurlaine Kaure Garcha, and YouTube stars Woody and Kleiny.
Ball sponsor, OK! Acting Group Editor-In-Chief Reach Magazines & Supplements, Karen Cross said:
“Together for Short Lives work tirelessly to support seriously ill children and their families. OK! are proud to be the official media partner for their annual ball and hope the night and the subsequent coverage raises vital funds that go some way in supporting their work with families in need.”
Together for Short Lives CEO Andy Fletcher said of the night:
“My heartfelt thanks to our generous partner M&S Food, sponsor OK!, and Patron Simon Cowell for making the Percy Pig Dreamland Ball a wonderful occasion, as well as raising vital funds for our lifeline work with families caring for a seriously ill child. We have a shared passion to make sure that no family caring for a child who will die young struggles to get the care they need.
Caring 24/7 for a seriously ill child can be exhausting, and many families feel isolated and do not know who to turn to. There are 99,000 seriously ill children across the UK, and the number is growing. More and more families are suffering through their child’s short life alone and need our support. The money raised tonight will help us reach more families and help them treasure every precious moment together.”
The real star of the night though was parent speaker Adam Smith, who shared with guests, the story of his beautiful life with his daughter Emily who died in 2019.
“Everyone who met Emily was instantly captivated by her bright smile and inquisitive eyes. We knew as her parents that she understood everything going on around her despite the constraints of her broken body.
“We always knew that we might not have long with Emily due to the complexity of her condition.
“Emily passed away on 21 March 2019 snuggled in our arms. Emily’s death has left a huge hole in our lives, but the love she left behind lives on in everything we do.”
Together for Short Lives is here for every family caring for a seriously ill child – No family should have to suffer though their child’s short life alone. We can’t save a child’s life, but with your help we can save a family from a lifetime of suffering.
To find out more visit: togetherforshortlives.org.uk.