A staggering £388,825 was raised at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity’s 10th Birthday Ball at the weekend – making a significant contribution to the iMRI scanner appeal.

The star-studded event, which saw the likes of Sara Cox, John Thomson, Hugh Ferris, supergroup Boyzlife and Antony Cotton gracing the red carpet, far exceeded expectations.

The amazing news is part of a big year for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) Charity – in March a company pledged to raise £1million over three years and later in the month another company donated £1.25million. In June the hospital celebrated its 10th birthday.

Charity patron John Thomson

The six-figure sum raised on Saturday night means the Charity has taken a huge step forward in its plans to purchase an intra-operative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (iMRI) and biplane angiography machine for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Professor Stavros Stivaros, Ian Lurcock, Julia Birchall-Searle and Dena Marshall from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Chairman of the fundraising board, Mr Maurice Watkins CBE, said:

“The night far exceeded our expectations and will remain a monumental moment in the Charity’s history.

“Every penny raised will help us ensure Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of paediatric brain surgery, helping to save even more young lives.

Jon and Chris Clark from TOWIE

“We’re incredibly grateful to every single person who has helped us achieve our objectives – not just by the fantastic donations to the ball, but everyone who has run a marathon held a bake sale or made a cash donation to the iMRI Appeal.”

Charity patron Antony Cotton with partner Peter Eccleston

The event was hosted by radio presenter Sara Cox, who was welcomed back by RMCH Charity, having hosted the charity’s ball in 2009. This event raised money to help equip the brand new hospital.

Chairman of the Fundraising Board Mr Maurice Watkins CBE with Sara Cox

Sara said:

“I had the best time hosting the big birthday party to celebrate 10 years of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. It was a really special night. Over the last decade, the hospital has helped more than 2.2million children. I’d urge anyone who reads this to donate what they can – even just a few pounds could make a real difference.”

Mike Summerbee showing off the Manchester City custom-made signed KISS guitar

The event was held in Manchester on Saturday, 21st September. Nearly 450 guests were able to bid on a number of exclusive money-can’t-buy prizes including two custom-made KISS guitars signed by Manchester City and Manchester United players, tickets to the British Swimming Championships, VIP tickets to the filming of A League of Their Own, lunches with Manchester City and Manchester United legends and a trip to watch Ariana Grande perform in Florida. The top auction prize of the night was an all-inclusive stay for two on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. It was sold for an impressive £45,000 but the winner kindly donated the prize back and it was re-auctioned at £40,000 – meaning Necker Island alone helped raise £85,000. 

Sara Cox and Antony Cotton

The audience was shown video birthday messages of well-wishers who sadly couldn’t attend on the night, including Fearne Cotton, James Cordon, Paddy McGuinness and Guy Garvey.

The night culminated with a much-anticipated performance from Boyzlife – Westlife’s Brian McFadden and Boyzone’s Keith Duffy including Picture of You and When You’re Looking Like That.

Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden from Boyzlife

Keith Duffy said:

“We’re parents ourselves and nobody wants to see their children in hospital for any reason, but unfortunately a lot of parents do. So it’s important to get the awareness out there and it’s important to let people know there are some good, hardworking people behind the scenes that need support.”

RMCH Charity director Sarah Naismith said:

“A lot of effort and hard work went into making the Birthday Ball such a successful night. I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping us put such a memorable and special event together.”