Hospice buys new minibuses with Reading charity ball cash

Sue Ryder will buy two specially adapted mini buses for hospices in Reading and Nettlebed after receiving £44,000.

Sue Roberts, Tracey Hancock, head of fundraising Stewart Marks, hospice director Ben Bar-Lev, corporate fundraiser Kiren Sharma, Cathy Sharma, Maria Turnbull and head of clinical services Marion Haynes

Hospice patients can now enjoy more mobility after philanthropists from around Reading got together to raise some much-needed money for Sue Ryder.

The charity’s staff approached Gravity Personnel founder Kiren Sharma and asked him to help raise funds for a specially adapted minibus for the it’s Duchess of Kent Hospice in Liebenrood Road.

Mr Sharma obliged and organised a charity ball at the Hilton Hotel in Reading with the help of his wife Cathy and Sue Roberts.

The ball, which was held on Friday, March 4, was seen as a huge success as guests and organisers raised £44,000.

The money will now be used to purchase one minibus for the Reading hospice and another for Sue Ryder’s Nettlebed Hospice.

Mr Sharma said: “The event was attended by all the great and good in Reading, who were extremely generous in their support.

“Local MP Alok Sharma and his wife Ingela came along and supported the event. I would also like to thank all those who bought tables and donated prizes.

“We could have not achieved this amount without their support, plus the fundraising girls who volunteered their help on the night and Ashraf Nabih, the manager of the Hilton Hotel for his support of this local community event.

He added: “It was our pleasure to help this much needed cause.”

The sizeable sum was raised by donations from Gravity Personnel, auctions and a silent auction.

Several companies, including Gravity Personnel, also offered to sponsor the mini buses while others made donations.

The French Horn in Sonning Common, Reading FC and an anonymous Ascot Racecourse box owner also made considerable contributions.

Stewart Marks, hospice director for Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent and Nettlebed Hospices said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped organise the Charity Ball, particularly Kiren Sharma, Cathy Sharma and Sue Roberts, as well as everyone who came out to support the event.

“£44,000 is an incredible amount of money and means we can now purchase two specially adapted minibuses – one each for Duchess of Kent and Nettlebed Hospices.

“This will make a huge difference to all our patients and means we are able to provide more of a service to them in terms of transportation to and from our hospices for Day Hospice services, outpatient appointments and any other needs they might have.”

He added: “Thank you on behalf of everyone at Sue Ryder.”

Charity News