On Friday 29th September guests at DEMAND’s Grand Gala dinner raised a massive total of £25,000 to help the charity design and make life-changing specialist disability equipment. The funds raised will support projects helping disabled children access play and physical therapy and help disabled adults access sports and activities in their communities.
Guests were introduced to some of the people who’ve benefitted from the charity’s work in the last year, including 3 year old Darcey who was born with cerebral palsy and now has the opportunity to learn to walk independently with a set of custom made treadmill handles designed by DEMAND.
DEMAND’s founding Patron and TV celebrity Dame Esther Rantzen DBE hosted the evening and spoke fondly of her support for smaller charities such as DEMAND. John Hunt, commentator for BBC Radio 5 Live turned auctioneer for the evening and helped to raise over £3500 in auction bids.
Guests enjoyed fine food throughout the evening from chefs-to-the-stars Charlie Hayes and Neil Pope of Air Culinaire Worldwide, who took a break from the usual business of catering for private jets to treat the 116 Grand Gala guests to a memorable meal.
Dan Dark, Sales & Marketing Director at Warner Brothers and sponsor of the Grand Gala, presented a cheque for £5000 to the charity, having seen the benefits of the charity’s prototype ‘Big Little Car’ for the children at Breakspeare school in Abbots Langley.
The funds will go towards helping some of the 40 people on the charity’s waiting list who need specialist equipment that is simply not available elsewhere. 10 people on the waiting list would benefit hugely from having access to a Big Little Car to provide them with opportunities to play and engage with physical activity since they don’t yet have the balance or coordination to ride a bike or scooter.
“Our thanks go to each of our event sponsors; Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, BNI Watford Junction and Imagine Group, and every guest who came along to support DEMAND on the night. If it weren’t for the generosity of our supporters, we simply couldn’t continue our life-changing work.” Denise Gillies, Fundraising Manager at DEMAND said.
“DEMAND is a unique charity that helps people of any age and with any disability, both here in Watford and further afield. Our custom design and manufacturing service is invaluable to the people we help, and the generosity of our supporters at the Grand Gala means we’ll be able to help even more people get the most out of life. We are again overwhelmed by the offers of help and support from businesses and individuals in Watford who helped make the Grand Gala a success.”
“We would welcome anyone who’d like to find out about DEMAND’s work to pay a visit to our engineering workshop in Abbots Langley to see first hand the life-changing work of our charity.”