A RECORD breaking amount of money was raised at a masquerade ball in aid of a local stillbirth charity last month.

A total of £6,395.41 was generated by the Swindon SANDS group who support bereaved parents in the town who have lost children to stillbirth and neonatal death.

The annual ball had a momentary break last year but wanting to bring it back with a bang, organisers pulled out all the stops to make sure the event was a glorious success.

Fit with a three-course meal, a balloon-pop raffle and disco, the ball saw 163 people don their best masks for the event which was held at the Village Hotel in Shaw Ridge.

Co-chair of the charity, Natasha Wilson, said she was thrilled by the turnout.

“It was the first ball I have helped organise since I became co-chair and as the event didn’t run last year, I wanted it to come back with a bang and this has been our biggest one yet.

“We would like to thank the hundreds of people, companies and services who helped us achieve such an amazing event.

“We would like to give special thanks to Picture Perfick Swindon Photographers, Lush Swindon, Ice Promotions Swindon, Fairford Balloons, Balloons By Me, MPD Printers, Judith Hockaday Dance Group and the staff at The Village Hotel Shaw Ridge.”

The funds will now be divided among multiple projects run by SANDS in Swindon.

“The money we have raised will help us with any upcoming projects we have within the charity as well as continuing to help bereaved parents at our support meetings,” Natasha added.

“A lot of the funds go into our memory boxes at the Great Western Hospital that are given to bereaved parents and they are filled with candles, leaflets for support as well as a blanket.

“The money will also fund memorials or other family events.”