A CHARITY that supports families through their toughest times is set to get a boost from a ball.

The Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Movement offers support and financial assistance to families with children battling with cancer and they have been selected as one of seven charities to benefit from the Glitter Ball.

The children’s charity was started at a meeting at the former Prospect Hospice building in Swindon in April 1984.

It has been run by parents ever since, but was originally conceived by Princess Margaret Hospital oncologist nurse Gill Harley and social worker Nigel Gardner.

The charity tries to make life easier for families and offers services including family days out and financial support.

CALM’s chairman Richard Crowley got involved with the charity in 2005 after he received support when his son Andrew, then aged two, was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia after developing a lump on his neck.

Richard said the money raised from the ball will help to pay for holidays they arrange for the families as a chance to get some much needed rest.

He said: “We are delighted as a charity to have been selected because, like a lot of charities, we are in a position where people are struggling to be able to give money.

“The money won’t be used for a project but for one of our on going things where we try to send the families on a holiday.

“We have two static caravans at Haven resorts in Wey-mouth and Lydstep, in South Wales.

“The money will go to making sure the caravans are refurbished and also providing some spending money for the family so they don’t have to worry if they can’t afford it.

“Quite often when a child is receiving treatment one of the parents gives up work and the siblings miss out so it is nice to have an opportunity to get away.”

The good causes were selected by the Rotary Club of Swindon, which founded the ball.

The event, held at the Marriott Hotel, in Old Town, has to date raised £640,000 for more than 50 local charities, with donations ranging from £1,000 to £49,000.

Over the years the ball has enjoyed the support of many businesses, including Zurich, Nationwide and npower, as well as Deacons the Jewellers, the Marriot and the Adver.

This year’s event has been titled The Glitter Ball and will take place on May 11.

For more information about CALM visit www.calm charity.org.