Harrogate Firecracker ball cancelled over latest Covid restrictions

This year's Firecracker Ball, which aims to raise funds for Barnardo's, has been cancelled due to the latest Government guidelines.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 3:14 pm

The committee which organises the ball felt that the event, usually hosted at Rudding Park Hotel in November, could no longer go ahead in light of the new 'rule of six'.

This is the first time the ball has not gone ahead in 18 years.

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The Firecracker Ball committee has announced this year's event will no longer go ahead.

New chair of the Firecracker Ball committee, Mark J Nelson, said: “We are saddened to have to announce that, for the first time in 18 years, we won’t be able to host the Firecracker Ball. We thought long and hard, throughout lockdown, about ways that the event could still go ahead and, whilst the virtual idea was fantastic, we simply couldn’t risk going ahead in light of additional restrictions being enforced, namely the rule of six.

"The Firecracker ball is a very sociable occasion and it just wouldn’t make sense to try to forge ahead with an event that wouldn’t be inclusive of everyone who wanted to attend and that wouldn’t have the same sparkle as we’ve all become accustomed to.

"With that being said, the most important part of the event is always about raising vital funds for Barnardo’s and that is very much still going ahead with an online auction full to the brim with everything you would usually expect of a Firecracker Ball auction.

"We have also launched a Just Giving appeal page that people can donate to. We’re grateful to anyone who can support, and no donation is too small because it all ensures Barnardo’s can continue providing crucial care to vulnerable young people.”

Like with all charities, coronavirus has had a massive impact on Barnardo’s fundraising activity this year.

Last year the Firecracker Ball event raised £250,000, taking the total raised for the charity to over £3m, which Barnardo’s has used to continue its work of reaching out to vulnerable children.

As the pandemic continues, Barnardo’s is seeing more young people and families needing help - making the demand for services sky rocket and donations more important than ever.

Mark added: “This pandemic has been hard for all of us, but for thousands of vulnerable children, lockdown has had a much more deep-rooted impact. Hidden harms like online grooming, cultural inequalities and domestic abuse have increased and we know we need to ensure these young people are given a voice so they can receive the support they so desperately need.

"Raising money via the Firecracker Ball Covid-19 appeal page is essential to kick starting this process. We hope to be back, bigger than ever, next year and, until then, we hope everyone stays safe.”

Kirsty Guy, Senior Relationship Manger at Barnardo’s, said: “Whilst we can’t go ahead with an event this year, the Covid-19 appeal will still raise money that can really make a difference to the lives of thousands of children and young people across Yorkshire. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved. Your support, and generosity means a lot.”

For more information visit www.thefirecrackerball.co.uk and to donate to the appeal visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/firecracker2020