Sunderland charity celebrating 30 years in style

Ian Smith (far left) and some of the other members of The Chesters' Charity, before one of their fundraising bike rides.
Ian Smith (far left) and some of the other members of The Chesters' Charity, before one of their fundraising bike rides.

A Wearside charity is all set to celebrate its 30th anniversary in style.

The Chesters’ Charity, which has raised a staggering £500,000 over the years, is holding an anniversary ball next month.

You can’t raise that amount of money without having the right people behind you and supporting you

Ian Smith

Ian Smith, one of the founders of the charity, which is based at The Chesters pub, in Chester Road, said he wanted to do something special to mark the three decades of supporting local charities.

Ian is urging people to snap up the last remaining tickets for the ball, which is being held at The Stadium of Light, on Saturday, October 14.

He is also hoping as many businesses as possible will come forward with raffle prizes for the black tie event.

Although they have organised hundreds of events, from jumble sales to bike rides, this is the first time they have done anything this big.

Ian said: “We normally hold events in The Chesters, but there were just too many people wanting to come that it wasn’t big enough. So this is the first ball we have ever done.

“We were just a bunch of lads who decided to raise some money and here we are thirty years later and having raised around half a million pounds, it’s amazing.

“I do think it is worthy of recognition, not for us, but for all the people who have donated so much money over the years.

“You can’t raise that amount of money without having the right people behind you and supporting you.

“Some of them have been sponsoring us for years. People have been tremendous, really, really generous.”

Scores of charities, usually local ones, have benefitted from the work of Ian and the rest of the fund-raisers, including Grace House, which one year was presented with £40,000 from the Chesters’ Charity.

Ian said: “Every single charity is worthwhile.”

As well as a slap up meal, there will be entertainment at the ball from a Mowtown group as well as a table magician.

During the evening there will be an auction as well as the raffle.

Tickets for the event cost £35 each. Anyone who wants to buy tickets, or donate raffle prizes, should contact Ian on 07766774145.