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Grove Cottage ball guests generate £24,000 for home of Mencap in Bishop's Stortford



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Grove Cottage’s 'Dreams and Wishes Ball' – the charity's first such event in two-and-a-half years because of the Covid pandemic – raised a record £24,000 for the home of Mencap in Bishop’s Stortford.

More than 200 guests supported the event at the Manor of Groves Hotel and Country Club in High Wych on Saturday April 2.

They enjoyed a sparkling reception followed by a slap-up three-course meal, auction, raffle, casino and music from band Hot Parade.

The Music Man Project. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography
The Music Man Project. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography

The evening’s activities kicked off with a performance by Grove Cottage’s performing arts club and the Music Man Project Hertfordshire, who treated guests to a rendition of Take That’s Greatest Day.

The performing arts club gives adult members the opportunity to meet and make friends while learning new skills and having fun. The Music Man Project is a club for people with a learning disability that provides accessible music tuition.

Nicola Donohoe gave the parent speech at the event. Her daughter Niamh joined Grove Cottage in September 2021 and attends the Saturday and holiday clubs.

Nicola Donohoe gave the parent speech. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography
Nicola Donohoe gave the parent speech. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography

She said: “It's really hard to hand your non-verbal and vulnerable child over to others and put your complete trust in their ability to care, but the team at Grove Cottage are fabulous and Niamh loves her time with them.

"I cannot tell you how important that is to us as her parents. The options for respite are so limited in the county. That's why Grove Cottage is so important to us.

“Grove Cottage relies heavily on donations to ensure it can continue to provide the services it does for families like ours and children and adults like Niamh. Whether you've purchased a raffle ticket, bid on the auction or made a direct donation, it all makes a real, tangible difference to people’s lives, to our lives, to Niamh's life and it means the world to us.”

Jeannie Philip, community fundraising manager at Grove Cottage, said: “This is the first ball we've been able to hold since November 2019 because of the pandemic and we're delighted we had the highest number of guests and raised more money than ever before.

Grove Cottage chairman Kevin Davis, community fundraising manager Jeannie Philip and co-organiser Vicky Blair. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography
Grove Cottage chairman Kevin Davis, community fundraising manager Jeannie Philip and co-organiser Vicky Blair. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography

“The generosity of our supporters is invaluable and makes such a difference to the lives of our members and their families, who rely on Grove Cottage to provide a safe, fun and enriching community. The income raised from this event will help us continue running our various services, including the Music Man Project and performing arts club.”

She thanked volunteer organisers Vicky Blair and Kellie Jones, for putting so much time and effort into making the event a success, and generous sponsors ARG Group, DOC Cleaning, Genmar, HardSoft Computers and Mantle Business Centres.

Grove Cottage's perfoming arts club members. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography
Grove Cottage's perfoming arts club members. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography
Ball guests (55970427)
Ball guests (55970427)
Performers at the ball (55970421)
Performers at the ball (55970421)
Dreams and Wishes Ball. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography (55970413)
Dreams and Wishes Ball. Picture: Megan Lovell Photography (55970413)
Table decorations (55970425)
Table decorations (55970425)


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