Normally, `dickie bowed' balls, at £50 a ticket, are not really the stuff of Salford Star articles. But, on this occasion we urge anyone with a local business to donate a raffle prize to help Start in Salford raise much needed funds for its top creative work with people in the city who have mental health issues.
We've seen the figures and statistics – how Salford people feature `significantly worse' than the rest of England in virtually every category of mental health measured. And reports from both Salford City Council and the NHS on how these figures are going to get even worse as the ConDem Government's `austerity' kicks in (see here).
Start in Salford uses training and creative arts like painting, photography, crafts, textiles, writing and even horticulture to help people who are, or who may be at risk of experiencing mental health difficulties to kickstart their emotional well being. But it's more than that because some of the work produced is totally stunning. It's a unique project in Salford and is well worth everyone's support (see Start's website for full details).
"We are so pleased they chose our charity" says Bernadette Conlon, of Start in Salford "This event will highlight mental health issues which are an illness that so often gets forgotten and can still carry a stigma with it. Yet in these difficult economic times lots of people are feeling the pressure, especially through unemployment, and this can affect their emotional health and wellbeing and that of the family.
"We will all probably know of someone who is affected, as one in four people will be experiencing some form of emotional or mental health issue at this time" she adds "We hope people will have a really fabulous evening whilst contributing to raising the profile of Start in Salford and all the valuable work it does in the local community and across Salford."
To fundraise big bucks to aid Start's work, the charity is to be the beneficiary of the first ever Dickie Bow and Diamond Ball at the Worsley Novotel this Friday16th November. The event is already virtually sold out with over 120 tickets sold at £50 a throw.
Salford born actor Rob James-Collier, who's currently gaining infamy as Thomas the footman in Downton Abbey, has lent his support to the do, having organised a prize of a guided tour of Downton Abbey set and lunch with the actors, which will be sold to the highest bidder on the night.
"Supporting the community in my home town of Salford is extremely important to me" says Rob "I'm really impressed with the Dickie Bow and Diamond Ball concept which aims to bring local people together for worthy causes. I really hope the evening is a success and that Start in Salford benefits greatly from the awareness and funds raised."
Other top prizes at the vent include a weekend in Tuscany, signed Downton Abbey posters, Man City shirts and The Wanted CDs. Auctioneer for the evening will be Will Farmer, of the Antiques Roadshow. Organisers are loking for more raffle prizes from local businesses so Start can raise even more money.
Unfortunately the Salford Star has sold out of t-shirts and mugs otherwise we would have donated something ourselves (Downton Abbey tour - Salford Star mug? No competition!) but if any other business can help please contact Nicola Smith on 07875687102 or email email@example.com.
For more details on the event see www.dickiebowanddiamondball.co.uk.
And for more information about Start in Salford, please contact Michelle Dennett on 01613516000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see all of Start's fab projects see www.startinsalford.org.uk
See also Start in Salford text aid - click here