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PFC Trust Green and Blue Ball raises more than £120,000

Updated: May 10, 2023

The PFC Trust has raised more than £120,000 from its second annual ball, with founder Frances Connolly delivering this message: “Thank you to everyone who made the night so amazing.”

The Hartlepool-based charity, which aims to improve the lives and life chances of people in the area, put on an incredible evening of entertainment and fundraising at the town’s College of Further Education.

More than 300 people were at the College as business leaders, friends and family all came together for an event supported by the whole community including Hartlepool Borough Council.

Liverpool and England legend John Barnes and one of Great Britain’s greatest Paralympians Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson were there along with Emmerdale’s Lewis Cope.

Barnes even performed his Three Lions World Cup rap on stage, alongside compere and PFC Trust chairman Shaun Hope, much to the delight of a packed venue that contributed to the incredible amount raised to help others.

Frances, who set the PFC Trust up after winning the EuroMillions in 2019, said: “What is amazing to me is just how the community pulls together for us. We are still working out the exact amount, but it is going to be £120,000-plus.

“We raised an enormous amount on the night, had amazing support locally, across the country and even from Northern Ireland.

“For us to have raised that figure from table sales, raffles, auctions and sponsors is just fantastic.”

The headline sponsor for the evening was Lunns Watches and Jewellery of Belfast. Other sponsors were Boodles, Brewin Dolphin, Academy Landscapes, the Plastic Furniture Company, Inn Hospitality, Steel Benders, Build Directory, Lyla Belle’s Café, Koselig Bakeri, the PX Group and Racz Group, with the College kindly playing host to the spectacular event. A long list of others donated prizes and the huge number of volunteers received special praise from Frances.

The PFC Trust likes to collaborate with other groups and charities and Hartlepower, Young Carers and asylum seekers all boosted volunteer numbers on the night.

She said: “We had 50 volunteers on the night, giving up their time. It’s incredible.

“Charities just can’t get volunteers, so for us to have 50 helping us to set up on the Thursday and Friday, and then we had a team back on the Sunday packing up, it’s brilliant.

“There was also a group of inclusive volunteers from community integrated care Kelly Daley, one of our trustees. It lifts your heart to see the people we support are able to engage with the Trust and it provides the purpose to create the best lives possible by bridging gaps within communities.

“I’m just amazed. Another nice story is how Keith Hutchinson – who just claimed an 800m medal at the World Masters Championships - was invited as a guest but instead wanted to work the night as a volunteer.

“What’s nice for everyone to know is that every penny we raised will go into helping people.”

The PFC Trust is already planning a third ball next year. Ireland rugby star Rory Best has sent over signed items and tables are already being booked well in advance.

“It’s amazing what can be achieved when the community pulls together,” said Frances.

“Not only did people have a good night, they are all showing interest in the work we do.

“Raising the sort of money we have means we can support many more projects.

“I have had hundreds of messages, thanks and congratulations, and most of them have commented on how fantastic it was that there was a community feel about our event – we want that to continue.

“We have loved welcoming more people into the PFC Trust family.

“I also want to mention the National Lottery, who had a table on the night too. We would haven’t started the charity without them and they always support us and other charitable events we do.”

*For further information on the PFC Trust check out

Frances Connolly on stage at the PFC Trust Green and Blue Ball.

Picture: Chris Booth/PFC Trust

The PFC Trust Green and Blue Ball at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Picture: Chris Booth/PFC Trust

John Barnes, Hartlepool runner Keith Hutchinson and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

Picture: Ash Foster/PFC Trust

Ciara Purnell and James Irvin at The PFC Trust Green and Blue Ball.

Picture: Chris Booth/PFC Trust

John Barnes and Shaun Hope at The PFC Trust Green and Blue Ball.

Picture: Chris Booth/PFC Trust

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