Rare opportunity for a traditional afternoon tea at Sunderland Empire

The newly-refurbished Dress Circle bar
The newly-refurbished Dress Circle bar
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Enjoy a 1920’s afternoon tea in the Edwardian surroundings of Sunderland Empire as it opens its doors for a special event.

In a rare opportunity for visitors, the traditional afternoon tea will be held on Saturday, July 8 at 12.30pm to raise funds for the theatre’s chosen charity, Red Sky Ball for CHUF.

The Petrucci family: Sergio, Emma, Luna and Enzo

The Petrucci family: Sergio, Emma, Luna and Enzo

The venue was inspired to help the charity by Sunderland youngster Luna Petrucci, four, who underwent a lifesaving operation at the Children’s Heart Unit based at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle two years ago.

Since her successful recovery, her parents Emma and Sergio Petrucci have established Red Sky Ball and raised more than £110,000 in under 18 months, as well as continuing to generate awareness and donations for the unit.

The unit is one of only two in the UK supporting babies and children who require heart transplants.

The afternoon tea is a rare chance to enjoy a relaxed, traditional afternoon tea on a non-show day set in the splendour of the newly-refurbished Dress Circle Bar area of the Grade II-listed venue.

Theatre staff will volunteer their time and a range of raffle prizes and support has been secured from businesses including the Bridges, Hilton Garden Inn, Sunderland Marriott Hotel, Morrisons, Ramside Hall, SAFC and The Funky Indian, ensuring all money raised from ticket sales is donated to the cause.

One poignant donation will be from Emma Garside of local company, Em & Dy’s Cakes. Emma underwent heart surgery when she was just three-years-old and is delighted to be able to support the event to raise funds for CHUF.

The money raised from Red Sky Ball goes towards making life more comfortable for heart children and their families in hospital like the Petrucci family; whether it be providing a parent’s emergency wash bag, gadgets and games or the essential equipment and state of the art machinery needed to save little lives across the region.

•Tickets are priced at just £12.95, with an option to upgrade to a Prosecco package for £15.95. Booking is essential and tickets can be booked in person at the Box Office on High Street West or by calling 0191 566 1045.