A fundraising ball organised by a tireless trio of bereaved parents raised nearly £17,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
The glamorous event, which featured live music and an auction, took place in the Lady Elizabeth Wing at Holkham Hall and was attended by 220 people.
It was organised by Kyra Welch and Nick and Elaine Loades, all of whom have been supported by EACH.
Kyra’s son, Kaiden, had a congenital heart defect and died in October 2021.
Having had open-heart surgery just three days after being born, he defied doctors by living until he was eight and half.
Nick and Elaine’s daughter, Ellie, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis shortly after birth and died in November 2013, aged 16. She received care at EACH’s former hospice, at Quidenham.
As a way of showing their appreciation, Kyra, Nick and Elaine have become dedicated champions of the charity and the ball – the fourth they have organised – took their overall fundraising tally to around £50,000.
“It went so well and I couldn’t have been happier or more pleased,” said Kyra, who lives in Wicken Green, near Fakenham.
“We raised so much last time and I can’t deny I felt a lot of pressure because of that. I didn’t let on and told people anything we raised would be a bonus.
“However, secretly, my hopes and expectations were very high, so to find out we’d raised even more was beyond my wildest dreams.
“I was gobsmacked and lost for words.”
Kyra, Nick and Elaine organised balls in 2018, 2019 and 2022, with the latter raising about £200 less than this year’s final total of £16,836.
“We’re very grateful and fortunate to have the support of so many people,” added Kyra. “Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
“Many come back time after time but there were also some new faces this year, which was lovely.
“I wasn’t sure how it would go, because of the cost of living crisis. It makes events like ours more of a luxury than a need.
“However, the public are always wonderfully supportive and we couldn’t be more grateful.
“We’d like to thank all the companies that donated auction prizes and everyone who attended on the night or donated to the cause throughout the year.
“I’d also like to say the biggest thank you to a page on Instagram called Take Heart – a small army of incredible people who crocheted the most incredible sunflowers as our table favours.
“We use sunflowers to represent Kaiden. They crocheted our green love hearts last year and have been incredibly supportive over the last year.”
Kyra said that she, Nick and Elaine were especially grateful to Adrian Gladwin and the team from Diss Event Photography, the Burn Valley catering team, Sue Huckle, from Posh Plants for Topiary, Alex Asher and the Lee Vasey Band, for providing the live music, Jay’s Cleaning Services and Delta Ground Maintenance, for being canapé and prosecco sponsors, and other event sponsors Oak Frames Norfolk Ltd, Britten Farriery Ltd – Master Farrier, Mill Farm Holidays, Halls Power Equipment Ltd and Halls Property Service.
Pictures: Adrian Gladwin, Diss Event Photography