Yorkshire’s Firecracker Ball will go ahead

The Firecracker Ball has been raising money for Barnardo’s for the last 18 years. Known as one of the finest social occasions in the region’s calendar and one of the biggest fundraisers for the charity, the ball takes place at Rudding Park Hotel in Harrogate every second Saturday in November.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many charities have had to postpone or cancel their planned fundraising events. As the country moves towards the ‘new normal’ many events are being rearranged with social distancing in mind.

The organisers of the Firecracker Ball are reviewing the situation weekly and in line with government guidelines, whilst ensuring the safety of staff and guests, would like to go ahead with this year’s event on 14th November 2020, ensuring that social distancing measures are in-place to keep everybody safe.

The event would be on a much smaller scale targeted at those who have already purchased a table and would still like to attend. If this looks like it isn’t an option the committee will host a virtual Firecracker Ball.

Speaking about the event, new chair of the Firecracker Ball committee, Mark J Nelson, said, “We have thought long and hard about whether we should host the Firecracker Ball this year. With charities taking a huge hit in recent months due to the outbreak of COVID-19 we have decided to consider alternative ways of going ahead with the event, whether that is on a much smaller scale or a virtual event. We are currently weighing up the options.

“So many people in the region look forward to the ball and it really is a night to remember. Whilst the event this year may not be as grand as in previous years, we still want to mark the occasion and continue to raise money for Barnardo’s.”

Last year the Firecracker Ball event raised £250,000, taking the total raised for the charity to over £3m that Barnardo’s has used to continue their incredible work of reaching out to vulnerable children. As restrictions ease, Barnardo’s is seeing more young people and families needing help. This will make the demand for services sky rocket, meaning that they need donations now more than ever.

Nelson continued, “This pandemic has been hard for all of us, but for thousands of vulnerable children, lockdown has had a much more deep-rooted impact. Hidden harms like online grooming, cultural inequalities and domestic abuse have increased and we know we need to ensure these young people are given a voice so they can receive the support they so desperately need. Raising money via the Firecracker Ball, be it virtually or on a smaller scale, truly is essential to kick starting this process.”

With Barnardo’s looking to adapt their services in order to find new ways to reach and support children needing their help, many fundraising event committees are looking at ways to adapt as well. The Firecracker Ball committee will liaise with Rudding Park Hotel to discuss whether they can go ahead with the ball, but on a smaller scale, or if a virtual event would be more suitable.

Either way, the team behind the ball is committed to raising funds for Barnardo’s again this year and will continue to monitor the situation and adapt plans accordingly.

Kirsty Guy, senior relationship manger at Barnardo’s, commented: “Despite current lockdown restrictions being in-place, we very much hope that we can find a way to go ahead within the guidelines, and hold a safe, smaller version of the event we all know and love. Charities are taking a big hit at the moment and fundraising events are vital to ensure their futures.”

Guy continued, “We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved. Your support, and generosity, ensures that Barnardo’s can really make a difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people across Yorkshire.”

More information from the organisers will be released soon and the committee has also launched a Firecracker COVID-19 appeal via a JustGiving page to help raise money for Barnardo’s in Yorkshire. If you would like to make a donation please click on the following link www.justgiving.com/fundraising/firecracker2020.