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Rugby hero to host Birmingham Children’s Hospital Ball

Press release   •   Sep 05, 2012 15:06 BST

Tickets now on sale for all-star event!

Former England and Leicester Tigers rugby player, Austin Healey, will be taking to the stage to host Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s first Candlelit Winter Ball to help raise vital funds for children with cancer.

The Ball will be held in the magnificent Great Hall at the University of Birmingham on Saturday 10 November.

Guests will be treated to a champagne reception and a gourmet three course meal, with live performances from West End Stars from ‘Wicked, Les Miserables and We Will Rock You’.

There will also be live music from the ‘Official Receivers’, a seven piece soul band from nearby Warwickshire. A specially built mini-Morgan car is one of the fantastic prizes up for grabs in the charity auction, donated by Morgan Motor Company. Morgan will also be at the ball showcasing some of their classic cars.

Austin Healey, who has also appeared on Strictly Come Dancing since his rugby playing days, said: “I am thrilled to be hosting Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Candlelit Winter Ball this November. I live locally and have four children so it is great to know there is such a fantastic hospital right on my doorstep.

“We have lots of excitement in store at the Ball including dinner, champagne, performances from West End stars and a great local band so I hope you will come and join us, have a great time and help this fantastic cause in the process. I’ll see you there!”

All the money raised at the Ball will benefit the Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal, launched in July. The Appeal aims to raise £4m to improve the lives of the 3,000 cancer patients and their families who are treated at the hospital each year, by totally transforming the cancer unit facilities and accommodation.

Tickets are £85 each or £80 each for a full table of 10. Please call us on 0121 333 9643 or email for more details.

Louise McCathie, Head of Fundraising at the Hospital, said: “We’re really excited to be hosting our very first Birmingham Children’s Hospital Candlelit Winter Ball this year as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations.

“We’ve got an all-star line up of music and a gourmet feast too, so please do buy yourself a ticket, enjoy this fantastic event and help us raise vital funds to improve the lives of so many children and young people with cancer.”

For further information about the Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal visit, call the Fundraising Team on 0121 333 8506, or email  


Cancer facts and stats

  • Cancer is the most common cause of death in UK children aged between 1 and 15.
  • Every year around 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. Around 250 of these (15%) are treated at BCH.
  • The three most common types of childhood cancer (accounting for 2 in 3 of every case) are leukaemia, brain tumours and lymphoma.
  • For every 100 children diagnosed with cancer almost 80 now survive.
  • BCH is one of only 2 centres in the UK providing national specialist centres offering care for children diagnosed with retinoblastoma – a  rare form of eye cancer affecting around 40 – 50 children per year in the UK (accounting for 3% of all childhood cancers)
  • 250 children are diagnosed with cancer at the hospital each year

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