EVERYBODY who made the Charity Ball such a success can congratulate themselves on changing lives for the better.

Thanks to the efforts of those fundraisers, a group of excellent charities share almost £30,000.

This would be a remarkable achievement at the best of times, but in an era of economic challenges it is a truly phenomenal one.

Each of the causes able to benefit has clear goals and makes a clear difference to some of our neediest people.

The Uplands Educational Trust, for example, helps young people with special needs secure the finest possible educational opportunities, while Swindon NSPCC protects youngsters from danger.

Headway Swindon and District serves people dealing with often life-changing injuries and medical crises, and the Great Western Hospital’s Brighter Futures charity raises funds for community health services.

The Clivey and Twist Children and Young People’s Project helps disadvantaged and vulnerable young people.

Every pound raised for each of these organisations is a pound very well spent.

Although all who raised money did an excellent job, a special mention must surely go to Imagine Cruising, whose £5,000 last-minute donation nearly doubled the sums promised to Uplands and Clivey and Twist.

Imagine, as we reveal today, has also pledged £20,000 to match funds raised next year.

This means that, although the 2016 ball is not for months, it is already shaping up to be even more successful than this year’s.

What a wonderful start.