Dinner dance raises record-breaking £33,000 for Stevenage Community Trust

PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 November 2018

Claire Austin raised £12,000 when she had her head shaved. Pictured here with Stevenage Community Trust's chairman Robert Stewart. CREDIT: Chris Batt.

Claire Austin raised £12,000 when she had her head shaved. Pictured here with Stevenage Community Trust's chairman Robert Stewart. CREDIT: Chris Batt.

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An annual black tie event in aid of Stevenage Community Trust has raised a record-breaking £33,000 to support charitable organisations and people in need.

Compere Tony Strange dressed as Henry VIII. CREDIT: Chris Batt.Compere Tony Strange dressed as Henry VIII. CREDIT: Chris Batt.

On Friday, local businesses and supporters of the grant-giving charity came together for a dinner dance at The Priory in Little Wymondley, where they enjoyed canapes on arrival and a three-course meal.

The guests heard how the trust - an independent charity which has been providing grants to good causes and families in need since 1990 - is supporting the community, including brain injury support charity Headway Hertfordshire and TRACKS autism - an early years centre for children with autism or related conditions.

Claire Austin, managing director of Austin’s Funeral Directors - which has branches in Stevenage, Letchworth, Knebworth and Hitchin - handed SCT a cheque for £12,000 after having her head shaved in August to raise funds for the charity.

An auction included some impressive lots, including a day cruising on the Solent aboard a fully-staffed yacht, a week’s stay at a luxury villa in Majorca and tickets to join best-selling author Ken Follett and his wife, former Stevenage MP Barbara Follett, in their private box at the opera house Glyndebourne in East Sussex.

Guests enjoyed live music from Ken Follett and his band ClogIron. CREDIT: Chris Batt.Guests enjoyed live music from Ken Follett and his band ClogIron. CREDIT: Chris Batt.

To end the evening, Ken Follett, who is the trust’s president, performed with his band ClogIron, which had guests up dancing until the early hours.

The amount raised at this annual event has steadily increased from £25,000 three years ago to £33,000 this year.

An additional £900 was also raised for the Poppy Appeal, which will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Caroline Haskins, manager at Stevenage Community Trust, said “We are extremely thankful for the support of everyone involved in making the event such a tremendous success.”

The event raised a record-breaking £33,000. CREDIT: Chris Batt.The event raised a record-breaking £33,000. CREDIT: Chris Batt.

Robert Stewart, the charity’s chairman, said: “A truly incredible result. We simply could not have achieved this without the wonderful sponsorship and the unbelievable generosity of the guests.

“Sponsors, members, guests and trustees have now raised the bar for our next challenge in November 2019.”

For more about SCT, visit stevenagecommunitytrust.org

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