The second Together for Short Lives' Midsummer Ball was held on Wednesday 1 June at Banqueting House, London. The Midsummer Ball shone a light on the UK's 49,000 children and young people with life-shortening conditions and raised over £290,000 to help families get the care and support they need to make the most of every moment together.
The Ball's special guests were treated to a sparkling night of entertainment as stars donated their time to make the evening a magical and unforgettable experience. The serious side of the night was brought to the fore by Amanda Harrison, mother of James, who has Infantile Batten Disease – a life-shortening condition that has no cure.
James needs specialist round the clock care, seven days a week, and Amanda told his story to guests. "I hope my family's story will shine a light on what it's like for thousands of families," says Amanda. "As a lasting legacy for James we would love to know that other parents will have all the support and care they need so they can make the most of life – no matter how short it is." You can read Amanda and James' story here.
During the evening we previewed our compelling new animation 'Through My Eyes', which tells the story of a mother caring for a child with a complex and unpredictable life-shortening condition. Through the eyes of a mother, the animation explains the reality facing families, and shows why families need round the clock care and support so they can make the most of every moment together. The animation has been designed and developed especially for Together for Short Lives by the creative animation studio The Like Minded, at no cost to the charity.
The Midsummer Ball has been generously supported by Coutts and an array of prestigious companies who have donated their support and luxury auction lots. "I'm overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of all the Ball's supporters," says Barbara Gelb, CEO of Together for Short Lives. "All of us at Together for Short Lives would like to thank everyone who has made the Ball possible, and helped us to drive change so that families don't have to struggle to get the care and support they need."
We'd like to thank the following supporters of the Ball:
Thanks to Maria Grachvogel for generously supporting the Midsummer Ball and dressing parent speaker Amanda Harrison
And thanks to all who have generously donated live and silent auction lots
The Jockey Club
Sublime Luxury Travel
Aspinal of London
Smith and Wollensky
Living the Luxe
Chelsea Football Club