What Women Want Ball

One of East Cheshire Hospices’ most successful fundraising groups, has topped the quarter of a million mark in an astonishing decade of support.

The What Women Want committee – which consists of five Cheshire businesswomen – topped off their 10th anniversary year with a ball which raised £37,000 bringing their fundraising total to £270,000.

The committee was formed by company director, Jayne Carter, who said: “We are all thrilled beyond belief to have smashed our target but couldn’t have done it without enormous support from so many people over the years.

“We feel incredibly privileged, humbled and frequently overwhelmed by the backing that’s been given to us over the past decade by sponsors and supporters alike. We can only do what we do thanks to them.”

The group came together following a chat in the back of a taxi on the way to a charity event. Jayne chatted with her friends about how prizes at such events were too often aimed at men and not “what women want” at all.

Within days, the five friends had set up the What Women Want committee and the money raised has so far been used to support the Hospice@Home initiative, day care at the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre, equipment for the Hospice laundry, and bought 'rise and recline’ chairs for patients.

“We always wanted our monies used in a very practical way and it’s been an honour to see all our efforts put to such good use,” said Jayne.

Jayne’s fundraising colleagues - Jo Millward, Julie Barnes, Elaine Burgess, Jill Harding - are kept on their toes all year round organising a bingo night and a fashion show in addition to their annual ball.

So it’s no surprise that the committee are to take a well-earned break from activities and there will be no events next year.

“Like the Glastonbury Festival, we will be taking a year off,” laughs Jayne. “But who knows what will happen in 2020.”  

Hospice Director, Karyn Johnson, paid tribute the fundraising friends.

“Its been a real pleasure to work with these ladies over the years. They are tireless in their efforts and always make fundraising fun.

“With less than 20 per cent of our funding coming from Government, the Hospice relies heavily on the goodwill of our community and the committee have shown incredible commitment and dedication to support us over the years.

“We thank them all,” says Karyn.