The 2018 Sunflower Charity Ball in aid of Teesside Samaritans and JPC Community Farm

Posted By Catherine Burrell on Sep 2, 2018 |

On Friday 27th July, Crathorne Hall Hotel opened it’s doors to welcome guests attending Sunflower Cognitive Therapies Limited, ‘Sunflower Charity Ball’




The evening began…

It was lovely to see so many familiar faces, whilst offer a warm welcome and put a name to a face of guests I had the pleasure of speaking to via Social Media or through email leading up to the event.  All of whom had come together to support Sunflower Cognitive Therapies and join in an evening of celebration, entertainment and fundraising.



The evening commenced at 7pm with a drinks reception and music provided by the beautiful vocalist and singing teacher, Marina Gears.

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Over the final couple of months leading up to the event, I had the privileged of listening to Marina sing on a regular basis.  Unbeknown to my family or close friends, I had decided to take up singing lessons in preparation to sing at this year’s event.

Although I was a nervous wreck, I still somehow managed to stand up and sing, ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ by Carole King.  Marina is a exceptionally talented singing teacher and over the time has become a dear friend, providing me with a much needed confidence boost and a bucket load of courage to perform on the night!



The Silent Auction, Raffle and WishString Wish Bracelets…

Following dinner, guests had an opportunity to bid in two silent auctions; Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for two at Crathorne Hall Hotel and a signed Middlesbrough Football Shirt.  With a number of fantastic raffle prizes to be won, all of which had been kindly donated by local businesses in the area, with the aim that together we could raise as much money for the two chosen charities.


On the night there was a chance to purchase a WishString Wish Bracelet, exclusively designed for Sunflower Cognitive Therapies by Kelly Bragg, founder and owner of the company WishStrings.Co. especially for the Sunflower Charity Ball.

I wanted to have something designed especially for the ball, but something that I could continue to sell after the event, supporting the ongoing training and education that is greatly needed in schools across Teesside, raising awareness of mental ill health and the debilitating impact it can have on people’s lives.


Priced at £5.00 each, the full amount being donated to Teesside Samaritans to support their training and education programmes.  Training required for the volunteers who dedicate their time to help others, but also for the education and prevention work that is vitally important and carried out with children and young people in schools and colleges in the Teesside Area.


Each Bracelet has a sunflower charm hung on a fine black waxed cord, beautifully presented on a card with a Sunflower Cognitive Therapies Limited quote, ‘It’s the small steps we take that help us achieve our long term goals’.  

On the reverse of the card displays the contact details for Teesside Samaritan’s based in Middlesbrough.

A big shout out to Kelly and her staff at WishStrings.Co who I am very grateful to. They worked extremely hard to hand tie 200 handcrafted bracelets ready in time to be showcased and sold at this year’s charity event.


A special thanks goes to Daniel Bishara Financial Planning.  If it was not for Dan’s generosity and kindness, offering to help support Sunflower Cognitive Therapies and this year’s Sunflower Charity Ball, the WishString Wish Bracelet’s would not have been possible.



Dancing the night away…

The evening continued with performances and entertainment from the lovely Jamie Tinkler who had everyone up on the dance floor.  Jamie was fantastic at getting everyone to their feet and it was a pleasure to have him perform on the night until sadly it was time to say goodbye to everyone who joined Sunflower Cognitive Therapies for another year!


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The official photographer for the evening, Amita…

A big thank you goes to my dear friend Amita France for being the official photographer for the evening.   You did an amazing job both with and without your camera in hand. From start to finish and that was even before the night began!

‘Thank you for capturing some beautiful moment’s, like my mum receiving her surprise birthday cake for her 70th Birthday!’


The birthday cake was beautifully made and created by an exceptionally talented young lady.

I know everyone enjoyed it, there was even enough left over to be shared between the events team at Crathorne Hall Hotel on the night!


Crathorne Hall Hotel…

The team of staff at Crathorne Hall Hotel could not have been anymore accommodating, worked especially hard together as a team throughout the day and into the evening.  Going above and beyond to ensure the Ball ran as smoothly as possible to helping pack away and taking the time out to say goodbye the following morning.




In March I set out planning this year’s ‘Sunflower Charity Ball’ with one goal in mind, to show my continued support to children, young people and adults living in our community and raise money for two local charities that are close to my heart.  JPC Community Farm and Teesside Samaritans, both are designed to support children, young people, adults and families living in the Tees Valley and surrounding areas.


Together we raised…

With the help from local businesses and guests attending the 2018 Sunflower Charity Ball, together as a team we were able to raise a staggering £800 which has been such an amazing achievement.

£310.00 of the money raised has been given to support JPC Community Farm to help fund the hydrotherapy pool planned for residents who will soon be residing in the supported living accommodation.

The remaining £490.00 raised will be going to Teesside Samaritans.  This includes £300.00 from the sale of the WishString Wish Bracelets bought by guests on the night.


Some of photos taken capturing the night…


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Running my own business was something that I never imagined that I would ever be doing, nor did I envisage planning and hosting an Annual Charity Ball to celebrate my second year in business!

Yes it has been stressful and demanding at times, however after four months of working behind the scenes, it was rewarding to finally be able to get dressed up for the occasion!



Once again, thank you to everyone who joined in the celebrations and to all who helped make the evening a huge success.  I am truly grateful, a friendly face and a helping hand is always greatly appreciated!