The mad dash to the ball and dinner with a Big Brother winner

Where to start with this next amazing event? After months of following the star-studded line up and heartbreaking cause I woke up on the day of the ball at 5am. The bank was still not my friend after Christmas but I could not resist any longer! I booked my ticket!! I never was very self-disciplined but I knew it would be worth it this time. Panic sets in though, I had nothing to wear and I know some people spend days/ weeks getting prepped for these kinds of events. Luckily the organiser had put on celebrity hair and make-up artists for guests attending. Time to negotiate a slot with these already busy ladies. Luckily they took pity on me and squeezed me in. Nikki Tipping, Dee Marie, Erika Hernandez and Mum Nett I cannot thank you enough for the effort and hard work you put in with me. Next up- the outfit!!! Mad dash to the Trafford Centre with only 3 hours to spare. No easy task!

 

Luck was on my side and everything fell into place. I got to the ball on time! The venue was the Executive Suite at Manchester United Football Club. I was so very excited. We had red carpet and everything! I could get used to this. I was greeted by the organisers, Karen and Abbey Blake. This event was arranged to launch their charity ESCAPE and raise awareness about the harrowing subject of sexual abuse. Abbey herself was a victim of abuse and bravely took to the stage to tell her story. Their aim is to educate and support children and break the silence of sexual abuse. They want to offer friendly treatment and a healthy environment to those who are suffering with severe mental distress by giving them special care, love, mentoring and support to aid in the healing of their unseen wounds.

Photo credit: Karen Blake

Abbey was also joined by other speakers who shared their stories with us. Fay Louise Purdham, Chris Tuck, Philip Lafferty and Daniel Wolstencroft you have my full respect.  To stand up into front of hundreds of strangers and talk openly about their deepest darkest experiences was the most admirable and heartbreaking experience I think I had ever seen. If it gives strength and hope to even one person who is suffering to speak out and seek help then these amazing people have achieved so much. If you want to see the speakers stories they are available on-line. They are hard to hear and can stir up a range of emotions but I highly recommend you take a few minutes out and see how far they have come despite what they have been through.

Photo credit MarkCavillMac Photography
Photo credit: Mark Cavill Mac Photography

Invited to support the event was a whole host of celebrities. The room was brimming with stars who gave up their time to help raise awareness and promote the charity. Some performed for us and some donated fabulous prizes for the auction and raffle. These included a HIFU face lift donated by Real Housewives of Cheshire star Dawn Ward, who attended with many of her celebrity friends and her singer daughter Darby who gave us an amazing performance. Also up for grabs was a personalised tour around the new set at Coronation Street by Kym Marsh and Simon Gregson. They were also accompanied by their co-stars Dolly Rose Campbell, Julia Goulding and Chris Harper. Chris is currently involved in the current grooming storyline with Bethany Platt. He hopes to raise awareness around sexual exploitation and encourage more people to come forward. 

Photo credit: Aaron Parfitt

Also in attendance was last years Big Brother winner, Jason Burrill, who incidentally was sat on my table- next to me!! Just had to get that out there…… He was the perfect gentleman and we all had great laughs with him. He came with his friends Maria Patricia, who can be seen on channel 5 documentary tattoo fixers and her husband Colin. She also runs a very successful clinic specialising in laser tattoo removal, hair removal and Botox. I certainly was sat on the best table! 

Hosting the event was the very glamorous Mary Louise Chandler, who introduced all the speakers and acts and kept things flowing smoothly.  We were treated to performances from several X- Factor stars including Thomas Bleasby– a very funny lad who had us in stitches all night, Lucy Spraggen, Tre Amici, Nicolas McDonald, Melanie Williams, Coral Roberts and Nicola Marie. Each one delivered an outstanding show and truly gave it their all. Everyone was in awe at the amount of talent we had under one roof.

 

Last but not least my very talented friend Yvette Royle was up to close the night. She had the whole room dancing and singing along with her and it was the perfect end to a fantastic night! Yvette is no stranger to the stage and has performed at Dawn Wards Creme de la Creme ball and Denise Welch’s black tie event to name a few. She’s holding her own event on the 24th February if you’d like to see her in action again, it will be another fun-filled night not to be missed. Her special guests will be attending with her and she will be holding a luxury raffle with some fantastic prizes to raise money for two local charities CAFT- Childrens Adventure Farm Trust and Jen’s Last Wish. 

 
I thoroughly enjoyed attending the event, the support the charity received from everybody was phenomenal. I wish you all the very best of luck with your journey and look forward to attending next years ball.

 

Much love,

Liz

x

Comments

  1. Mary-Louise Chandler says:

    Thank you for the mention Liz, it was lovely to meet you 😊 It was certainly at several hours one of the longest presenting jobs I have done , but it was also one of the most humbling and inspirational. I was honoured to be the host for the night and play my part in what was such a fantastic success, but also so informative and truly moving. I have great admiration for all the brave survivors of sexual abuse who shared their harrowing stories, but who also stood up, spoke out and proved you can go on to help others, to begin to heal and to have happiness and success in their personal and career lives, despite the terrible trauma they went through. The night was a beautiful example of the strength of the human spirit and soul against all odds. To every speaker that night and to all survivors, I salute you and support you on your journeys. I am more than happy to attend or host an future events that you may be holding across the UK to create awareness or raise funds to help others effected. Thank you to Karen and Abbey , you are to me 2 super women in the actual hero sense, because you went out and actually did something and made it a success, congratulations and keep going , I will continue to support Escape and I am happy to help spread your message. Thank you to everyone who attended, you were a great audience and I enjoyed sharing the stage with my fellow performers, so much musical talent , you were all amazing and the celebs who donated prizes for the auction, Dawn ward, Kim Marsh and Simon Gregson and everyone who bid , and of course I had a great time having a boogie on the dance floor with some of the fabulous Coronation Street cast. Thank you to Nikki Tipping for my make up and her team for my hair, nails , and thanks to Toni & Guy for a lovely goody bag full of amazing products 😃 Thank you to Sydneys Closet for providing my beautiful dress. It was only my second visit to Manchester and my first to Old Trafford home of Manchester United’s football team, but I am grateful for the very warm , friendly welcome I got from every one I met in Manchester , you are a lovely lot! 😍 and I can’t wait for my next visit to the North ! I wish the Escape Charity all the best in the future and look forward to being involved in your journey. Xx
    Mary-Louise Chandler
    TV & Live Events Presenter, Host & Producer of Celebrity Road Trip, Actress, Public Speaker, Confidence & Life Coach, Founder of the brand new UK PLUS SIZE INDUSTRY AWARDS.

    1. CheshireLiz says:

      What a lovely piece you have written 😘 you brought a tear to my eye. Was amazing to meet you, hope our paths cross again soon xxx

  2. Danny Wolstencroft says:

    Thanks Liz, was a wonderful evening excellent for networking and raising awareness around child abuse.

    The best thing for shatterboys UK was that we met Jenny Powell. People say don’t meet your heroes they will disappoint.

    She didn’t disappoint we all grew up watching Jenny on TV and she seemed like a good honest person.

    She said is there anything I can do get in touch. I did she agreed to come down as soon as she had time.

    She came down met all the lads and helped facilate a discuss with a group of men all adult Survivors if Childhood Sexual Abuse just yesterday.

    We made a mini documentary on why men don’t speak out and Recovery.

    She agreed to be an ambassador for shatterboys UK and my mate Phil’s organisation Voicing CSA.

    She vowed to help us help us to make members of society who haven’t thankfully been abused aware of the issues.

    What you see is what you get with her.

    That’s thanks to the Escape charity event it was all about creating positive change.

    Thanks again for your blog

    Danny Wolstencroft Founder/Director

    #TeamPowell

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