Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is celebrating after surpassing its fundraising targets at Saturday night’s glittering Discovery Ball.

Over 300 people attended the event at Manchester’s Hilton hotel, which was sponsored by ANS Group, helping to raise an incredible £130,940 the night.

Guests – including Coronation Street actors Antony Cotton and Jennie McAlpine – were treated to live music performances from Simply Red front man Mick Hucknall and Guy Garvey and Craig Potter from Elbow, as well as a stand-up act from renowned comedian Dave Spikey. The event was hosted by legendary broadcasting husband and wife team, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

Key 103 DJ Mike Toolan and BBC Sports’ Hugh Ferris hosted the evening’s auction with the star lot, a Hubelot wrist watch donated by Sir Alex Ferguson from his own personal collection, raising a staggering £12,000 alone.

The Discovery Ball was raising money to help fund the expansion of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital’s world-class Children’s Clinical Research Facility (CCRF).

Established in 2009, the CCRF was the first dedicated children’s research centre in the UK and is now one of only four in the country. Working with researchers, children and families, the CCRF carries out all types of clinical research, with a specific focus on the testing of new medicines for life-threatening and life-limiting diseases.

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The Discovery Ball was an even greater success than we hoped it would be and, once again, we are indebted to our supporters for their generosity. We are absolutely delighted with our fundraising total and sincerely thank all of our acts who performed on the night for kindly donating their time to support this most worthwhile of fundraising initiatives.”

Manchester-based Infrastructure and Managed Services specialists ANS were the event’s headline sponsor. Passionate about engaging their staff in their varied CSR programme, which includes fundraising, environmental initiatives and voluntary work as well as sponsorship, ANS also fosters young talent through their Cloud Academy – a yearlong IT apprenticeship programme that offers both structured training and real hands-on experience.

A long-time supporter of the hospital Scott Fletcher, CEO of ANS, said: “As predicted, the Discovery Ball was a fantastic event and it was heart-warming to see the support coming in from the community. There was a lot of hard work behind the scenes and so we were thrilled to see everything coming together perfectly. It was great to see the fundraising target exceeded, but more than that it was important to get the cause in the forefront of everyone’s minds and draw attention to the hospital and the outstanding work they do in and for our community.”

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity is raising money to ensure continued excellence in treatment, care and research at the hospital – improving the lives of thousands of children each year across the North West and beyond.

The support of the Charity means that the hospital can provide additional resources that make life easier for patients and their families who use the hospital.

The charity has three main areas of work:

  • to support research projects to improve our understanding of children’s illnesses
  • to help to create an environment that’s more child-friendly
  • to provide state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosis and treatment.

For more information about Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity please visit www.rmchcharity.org.uk.

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