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Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball raises new fundraising record

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© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

More than £955,000 was raised for Childline last night at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball – a new record for this annual event.

Joe Swash and Stacey Solomon at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

The fundraiser, which partnered with Syco Entertainment the company behind the iconic talent show, was held at Old Billingsgate and hosted by Ashley Banjo leader of dance troupe Diversity, who won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent.

Francesca Abbott wife of Ashley Banjo at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Speaking at the event, Ashley said: “I am delighted to be involved in such a fun and important evening, the money raised will go towards helping some of the UK’s most vulnerable children, many of whom have nowhere else to turn.”

Azuka Ononye and Alesha Dixon at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Ashley was joined by a number of famous faces, and voices, synonymous with the iconic talent show including judge Alesha Dixon, Tokio Myers the 2017 winner and Peter Dickson the voice of Britain’s Got Talent.

Paul Knightley and Sam Faiers at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Throughout the night other performers from this years show entertained guests, including hilarious impressionist Jess Robinson, 15-year-old aspiring singer Sarah Ikumu, and mind-reading double act DNA.

Britain’s Got Talent Finalist DNA at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Barclays were headline sponsor of the glittering event, which was attended by celebrity supporters and ambassadors of Childline such as Geri Horner (Halliwell), Stacey Solomon and Sam Faiers.

Dame Esther Rantzen at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen DBE, who was also there, said: “Not only did our guests enjoy a fantastic evening of entertainment, but they were also incredibly generous and raised much needed funds for Childline. At the moment we know there are hundreds of vulnerable children who urgently need our help but can not get through to us because we simply don’t have enough resources to respond to them all.

“Heartfelt thanks also go to Simon and everyone at Syco Entertainment, and our extraordinary Ball Committee for their invaluable support. Events like the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball are crucial if we are to achieve our goal of being able to help every child that needs us, be it online or over the phone.”

Britain’s Got Talent 2017 contestants L-R Ashley Banjo, Jess Robinson, DNA and Sarah Ikumu at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Guests enjoyed a Champagne drinks reception, followed by a three-course dinner, with Lidl supplying the evening’s drinks and a game of Musical Bingo sponsored by Now Music. They also participated in an exclusive auction of ‘money can’t buy’ prizes, which included the chance to fill Syco Entertainment boss, Simon Cowell’s shoes for a day and a personal training experience with David Haye.

David Haye at the Britain’s Got Talent Childline Ball
© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

Speaking of this year’s event, Simon Cowell said: “We are extremely proud to have been asked to partner with Childline for such an important evening. Childline has helped millions of young people over the years and it is great they are receiving such support so they can continue to help many more children in the years to come.”

© Casey Gutteridge/Childline

When Childline launched in October 1986 the main point of contact for those reaching out to the service was through a phone box or landline. Now thousands of children contact Childline online, by email and 1-2-1 chat. Childline became part of the NSPCC ten years ago.