Over 150 supporters, service users and volunteers turned out to the annual Pride of Henshaws event. It took place at the Marriott V&A Hotel in central Manchester on the evening of Saturday November 22 and raised more than £9,000 which will help support more people affected by sight loss and other disabilities.
The event was the finale to the Bright for Sight campaign, helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Henshaws. This is the second Pride of Henshaws to date, returning after last year’s success, celebrating the achievements and hard work of the inspirational service users and volunteers of Henshaws Society for Blind People.
Guests enjoyed a Buck’s Fizz reception and a three-course meal and were entertained by compere for the evening, BBC News presenter Mark Edwardson and a band from the Royal Northern College of Music. There was an auction of sports memorabilia, a grand raffle and giveaways of wine and other goodies.
Hand-crafted flower centrepieces created by service users at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre were displayed on guests’ tables and sold at the end of the evening.
Four awards were presented on the evening to Henshaws service users and volunteers who are affected by sight loss and other disabilities.
Jennie Hayes, aged 37, of Harrogate, won the Volunteer Award for going above and beyond with her help at the Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.
Gary Hayles, aged 51, of Newcastle, won the Technology Star Award, for showing determination to learn how to use a computer to help with daily life, such as reading his post.
Craig Riach, aged 35, of Wallsend, won the No Fear Award, for continuing to flourish on the football field despite losing almost all his sight.
Kimberley Burrows, aged 26, of Irlam, won the Gillian Lawrence Award for turning her life around over the course of a year by developing her passion for art. The award is presented annually in memory of Gillian Lawrence, a long-standing trustee and chairman of Henshaws, who died in July 2012.
Among the guests were representatives of Manchester-based food production company Cargill, Sale-based solicitors Slater Heelis and Ashton-under-Lyne-based stationary company Printerbase, who all sponsored awards.
In September 2013, Cargill paid for a children’s play area to be built at the Knaresborough Arts & Crafts centre. Mr Kingston added: “The relationship between the people at Henshaws and our employees is growing all the time and our employees all say that they love going to Henshaws.”
Printerbase managing director Peter Knight said: “We were first introduced to Henshaws over a year ago and were immediately struck by the positive difference they make to so many people’s lives. My grandmother was registered blind and several of my staff suffer from Glaucoma, so, as you can imagine, supporting a charity that offers so much to those with visual impairments strikes a particular chord with me. We are delighted to work with Henshaws and hope our partnership grows even stronger in the future.”
Slater Heelis marketing manager Claire Palmer said: “We are delighted to be part of the team that supports the Pride of Henshaws. Congratulations to all the 2014 nominees and winners from the team at Slater Heelis.”
Henshaws chief executive Nick Marr said: “This is the second annual Pride of Henshaws evening and it was a fantastic success. We were delighted to welcome so many guests and thrilled with the amount of money raised on the night. I am pleased for all the award winners and nominees, who are true role models to us all.”
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