Yorkshire’s Firecracker Ball is cancelled

Firecracker Ball, one of the biggest fundraisers for the Barnardo’s charity, is not going ahead this year for the first time in 18 years.

The committee that organises the ball felt that the event, usually hosted at Rudding Park Hotel in November, simply couldn’t go ahead in light of the Government’s latest update and the introduction of the ‘rule of six’.

During lockdown, the committee met on a regular basis via Zoom to discuss the ways the event could still go ahead whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

A virtual event, with ‘dine and view’ packages, was planned to replace the usual high-profile ball.

However, in the last couple of weeks it became clear that the stricter social distancing measures now in place would prevent many people from being able to attend, even virtually.

New chairman of the Firecracker Ball committee, Mark J Nelson, said: “We are saddened to have to announce that we won’t be able to host the Firecracker Ball.

“We thought long and hard, throughout lockdown, about ways that the event could still go ahead and, whilst the virtual idea was fantastic, we simply couldn’t risk going ahead in light of additional restrictions being enforced, namely the rule of six.

“The Firecracker ball is a very sociable occasion and it just wouldn’t make sense to try to forge ahead with an event that wouldn’t be inclusive of everyone who wanted to attend and that wouldn’t have the same sparkle as we’ve all become accustomed to.

“With that being said, the most important part of the event is always about raising vital funds for Barnardo’s and that is very much still going ahead with an online auction full to the brim with everything you would usually expect of a Firecracker Ball auction.

“We have also launched a Just Giving appeal page that people can donate to.

“We’re grateful to anyone who can support, and no donation is too small because it all ensures Barnardo’s can continue providing crucial care to vulnerable young people.”

Last year the Firecracker Ball event raised £250,000, taking the total raised for the charity to over £3m.

As the pandemic continues, Barnardo’s is seeing more young people and families needing help, meaning it needs 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 COVID-19 appeal page is essential to kick starting this process.”

Kirsty Guy, senior relationship manager at Barnardo’s, added: “Whilst we can’t go ahead with an event this year, the COVID-19 appeal will still raise money that can really make a difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people across Yorkshire.

“We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone involved. Your support, and generosity means a lot.”

For more information go to the official Firecracker Ball website www.thefirecrackerball.co.uk

Click the following link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/firecracker2020 to make a donation to the Firecracker COVID-19 appeal.