Children and parents taking part in a group music session at Shooting Star Chase were thrilled to be joined by musical theatre legend Michael Ball, as he dropped by with a special gift for the charity.
Michael, a patron of Shooting Star Chase, visited the charity’s Guildford hospice, Christopher’s last week to present two brand new vehicles, funded thanks to his special fundraising concert last year.
Held at the Phoenix Theatre last December, Michael’s show featured a host of stars from stage and screen and raised an amazing £50,000 for Shooting Star Chase.
The money was used to buy two specially adapted Fiat Doblos, one for each of the charity’s hospices; Christopher’s in Guildford and Shooting Star House in Hampton.
This wasn’t the first time Michael had used his musical talents to support the charity. Concerts in 2009 and 2010 paid for a specially adapted mini bus and he has also appeared on many celebrity game shows, raising thousands for the children’s hospice charity.
After handing over the keys to the new vehicles, Michael joined the group for a relaxing music session and enjoyed lunch with families, staff and volunteers.
Michael Ball said: “When I first heard about the charity and came down to see what happened I was really nervous. I thought it was going to be heart breaking, depressing and difficult to deal with but something very different happened. There’s a spirituality about the place, a joy, a happiness and positivity.
“I came out of there bouncing with ideas of how I could help. I have an overwhelming appreciation of what the people there day in day out contribute; they’re extraordinary, inspirational and humbling. I knew I had to be involved and stay involved. This is the most remarkable place; I’m here for life.”
Karen Sugarman, Director of Fundraising at Shooting Star Chase, said: “We were delighted to welcome Michael, his family and friends to Christopher’s. Michael is a wonderful patron and supporter of Shooting Star Chase and we are so grateful to him and his amazing fans, who show such generosity in helping to raise vital funds time and time again.
“The new adapted vehicles are so important to us, ensuring we can help make every moment count for the young people we support. Our teenagers especially are always keen to get out and about and they’ve told us already how much they love going out in the new vehicles.”
For more information about Shooting Star Chase visit shootingstarchase.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by Shooting Star Chase.