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Weston Park 50th anniversary Ball supports cancer care, treatment and research

More than £70,000 was raised to support cancer care, research and treatment improvements at a Gala Ball held to celebrate 50 years of Weston Park on an emotional evening at OEC Sheffield.

More than £70,000 was raised to support cancer care, research and treatment improvements at a Gala Ball held to celebrate 50 years of Weston Park on an emotional evening at OEC Sheffield.

The Weston Park Gala Ball, supported by a number of organisations including headline sponsor Ant Marketing and associate sponsor Napoleons Casinos, raised £73,278.25 for Weston Park Cancer Charity – more than two years after its original event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Funds raised on a hugely successful but moving evening will make a big difference to people living with and beyond cancer in South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire.

Weston Park Cancer Charity works alongside NHS colleagues at Weston Park Cancer Centre to help anyone affected by cancer, by providing vital support services, enhancing treatment experiences and enabling crucial research – including clinical trials.

The Ball was attended by around 400 people closely associated with either the hospital, the charity or both. It was hosted by TV star and Weston Park patron, Dean Andrews, and renowned Sheffield United PA and long-term charity supporter, Gary Sinclair.

It featured entertainment from the likes of swing, crossover & original artist, Paul Pashley and his 14-piece band; singer, songwriter and musician Catherine Rannus. Live and silent auctions were held on the night, with huge amounts also given by guests through generous donations.

With his family in attendance at the Gala Ball, West End and The Voice star Matt Croke also put on a surprise and extremely emotional performance in memory of his mum, Bev, who sadly passed away from breast cancer in March 2021. In Bev’s memory, The Croke family have since set up the tribute fund BB With Love, in association with Weston Park Cancer Charity, to support cancer care in Sheffield and the surrounding areas.

Emma Clarke, CEO of Weston Park Cancer Charity, said: “We gathered to mark 50 years of Weston Park and I could not be prouder as CEO of Weston Park Cancer Charity.

“Since the original date of our Gala Ball, together with our wonderful NHS colleagues we have been through one of the most challenging situations we’ve ever faced in our important work supporting people through cancer.

“What we know about the pandemic is that although it sent us all home, cancer didn’t stop. But after such a tough period, it was fantastic to see so many incredible people join us to mark a huge milestone in Weston Park’s history.

“As a Sheffielder born and bred, I know just how much Weston Park means to the people of the steel city and of this wider region. It’s part of the fabric of us, of who we are as people, and we must do all we can do treasure it.

“Sadly the shocking statistic remains that one in two of us will face a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime. For anyone who faces that diagnosis, I want Weston Park to be in their corner. Together, and with our extremely generous supporters – many of whom joined us for our Gala Ball – we can ensure that that’s the case.”

Patricia Fisher, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Weston Park Cancer Charity Trustee, said: “As we move forward out of the pandemic and begin to live with Covid-19, the support of Weston Park Cancer Charity and its wonderful donors and supporters will be invaluable – including the monies we raise at hugely important events like the Weston Park Gala Ball.

“With the delays in diagnoses seen during the pandemic, sadly more people are being diagnosed with cancer at a later stage. This can make people more difficult to treat, meaning improvements in treatment and care – which the charity supports – will be all the more vital.

“However, as well as looking to the future, the Ball also gave us an important chance to reflect on how far we’ve come in the 50 years since Weston Park opened its doors. Cancer care is lightyears away from what it was in 1970, and with more and more support for organisations like Weston Park, we can work together to continue improving outcomes for patients in the next 50 years, too.”

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