More than 120 guests at a spectacular fundraising ball in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care on Saturday 24 June were treated to a champagne reception, three-course meal, dancing to The Swinging Retros and a surprise appearance by Strictly Come Dancing Stars Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite. The showbiz pair hosted a Q and A session then performed a dynamic jive and a mesmerising rumba against the beautiful backdrop of Bisham Abbey.
This first-time event raising funds for Rennie Grove was organised by the charity’s Marlow Fundraising Group, whose committee includes Rennie Grove Hospice at Home Nurse, Suzanne Fitzpatrick. She said:
“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the people of Marlow and Bourne End. So many individuals and organisations in the local area donated prizes to us, offered their services free of charge and gave us all kinds of help to put this great event together. It’s been a lot of very hard work for our little fundraising group, but the amount of money we have made has left us flabbergasted! As a nurse with Rennie Grove, I know how much this cash injection means to the organisation and I just couldn’t be happier. As well as that, I think that everyone who came to the Ball had a totally brilliant night too!”
The night was compered by Chris Hughes, whose company masterminds huge national events like Carfest and regional gems such as Tom Kerridge presents Pub in the Park. Chris, who had first-hand experience of Rennie Grove’s nursing service when the charity’s nurses cared for his wife’s parents in their own home, was keen to use his skills and contacts to make this inaugural Ball a success.
As well as securing money-can’t-buy auction lots and raffle prizes such as a meal for two with wine at two Michelin starred restaurant The Hand and Flowers and glamping tickets for Carfest, Chris arranged for footage of Rennie Grove patients and family members to be shown on the night, so guests could gain a unique insight into the difference the 24/7 specialist nursing service can make.
Thanks to guests’ generosity and the committee’s hard work, the Marlow Ball looks set to have raised £40,000 - enough to fund a specialist Hospice at Home nurse for more than a year.
With demand for the charity’s unique 24/7 responsive service rising as patients live longer with more complex care needs, this welcome injection of funds means more Buckinghamshire patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses will have the choice to be cared for at home with access to round-the-clock specialist care and surrounded by their family.