EIGHT good causes received an early Christmas present when the proceeds from this year's Swindon Charity Ball were handed out.

Beneficiaries were invited to the Marriott Hotel, where the glittering event organised by the Rotary Club was staged in May. The Shanghai Nights-themed evening raised just over £16,000 for local charities.

Robert Gillespie, the Rotary Club’s Charity Ball chairman, said: “It was an amazing evening and we’re really proud of all the contributions from all our supporters, donors and the people of Swindon.”

Charities supported by the 30th anniversary event included the Harbour Project, STEP, Hreod Burna Urban Forest, Wiltshire Search & Rescue, Friends of TWIGS, Big Breakfast +, 12th Swindon Scout Group and Swindon & District Samaritans.

Backed by Newsquest Media Group, the Adver's parent company, the charity ball has established itself as one of the biggest fundraisers in the county.

“The generosity of Swindon always amazes me,” said Mr Gillespie.

“The charity ball has to stand alongside other major charity events, and it always produces a good result.”

Over the last three decades, the ball has supported more than 50 organisations.

“I’m delighted we are able to hold this kind of event so that local charities can benefit,” he said.

The Big Breakfast + received just under £1,000 which they will spend on new cloud-based point of sale software.

The charity provides cooked breakfasts as well as signposting to further support services for homeless people in Swindon seven days a week.

Rosemary Curtis, chair of the trustees, said: “This is a really important charity event and we’re really grateful for all the community support we receive.

“It’s wonderful to be given the opportunity to bid for money which will help us monitor the effect of what we do.”

The charity will use the software to help it track its users’ attendance and progress out of homelessness.

Guests at the Rotary Club’s ball enjoyed an oriental meal as well as auctions, raffles and draws for guests to win prizes.

The Deacons Diamond Draw was a highlight of the evening. A £4,000, 18c white gold claw set snowflake diamond cluster ring, donated by the Old Town jeweller, was won from a ticket costing £20.

Next year’s Rotary Charity Ball promises to be a big hit. Based around the theme of Puttin’ on the Ritz, it will be held on May 16.