Night of entertainment at The Ostara Ball

Readers' news
Readers' news

On Saturday 1st March guests were treated to a night of fantastic food, fun and entertainment at The Ostara Ball at South Lodge Hotel.

The 2nd annual Ostara Ball raised £6,000 this year for local charity Age UK Horsham District to fund their vital charitable services that help thousands of people in later life every year across Horsham District.

Deborah Johnson, who organises the ball for Age UK Horsham District said: “We are absolutely delighted that £6000 was raised to help fund crucial services for older people in the district. We want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who helped make the ball such a success from our generous guests, local volunteers, sponsors, entertainers and of course, our guest of honour, Lionel Blair.”

The evening was sponsored by many local companies who support the work of the charity including Barclays Bank, RSA and Cordek; the latter two each sponsoring elements of the evening’s entertainment.

Many more local businesses and restaurants gave raffle prizes and donations, contributing to the money raised, with many of them also attending.

Entertainment legend Lionel Blair, having recently left the Celebrity Big Brother house, was the guest of honour for the evening along with his wife.

He entertained the audience with anecdotes from his career and commended the work the charity was doing. He went on to compliment the event saying ‘this is the best evening I’ve had in a long time!’

Once again Rupert Toovey led the auction with plenty of fantastic gifts on offer including power boating, weekend breaks and a football signed by the Manchester United football team. Entertainment included Marco the table magician and local band Sound Investment providing great music for the night’s dancing. New this year was a casino allowing guests to play blackjack and roulette which proved very popular.

Barclay’s Bank staff in Horsham generously volunteered their time to help with the night’s games and activities. Barclays matched the money their staff helped raise up to the sum of £1000, further helping the charity continue their invaluable work in the district.

The money raised by The Ostara Ball will enable the charity to continue supporting older people and with there now being 26,000 residents aged over 65 in the district, every donation can change a life.

Denis Cummings, chairman of Age UK Horsham District, highlighted in his speech that in the past year the charity had unlocked £1million in benefits for those in later life in Horsham District, through its Information and Advice Service which is offered free of charge. Age UK Horsham District needs to raise at least £55,000 each year to provide Information & Advice alone.

Due to the success of this year’s event, plans are already in place for next year’s Ostara Ball which will be taking place, once again, at South Lodge on Saturday 28th February 2015. If you are interested in attending, the charity is already taking bookings.

If you would like to reserve places or learn more about the event phone Deborah Johnston on 01403 240131/07809240223 or email

Report and picture contributed by Age UK Horsham District.