Bosses at a new charity in Leeds which helps struggling families are bracing themselves for a financial hit after poor tickets sales for their first major event.
Only 100 tickets have so far been sold for Leeds Baby Bank’s first anniversary ball, on Friday October 20, and at this rate organisers say they will be running the event at a loss.
They have now issued a last-ditch appeal to the people of Leeds to get behind the event and support what has become a vital service in the city.
Chantal Nogbou, who co-founded the charity in January with Lynsey Jayes and Faye Freeman, said: “In order to raise awareness and funds we wanted to hold a ball, which initially was going to be organised for us. But through unforeseen circumstances we are doing it all ourselves. We have no experience in party planning and we do this all alongside our own full time jobs as well as running Baby Bank and our own families - Faye is a social worker, Lynsey works the hospital switch boards and I have an acupuncture practice.”
She added: “The ball will be our biggest event thus far and we risk being out of pocket if it isn’t a success - as the cost of the venue is £3,750 - which means funds will be used up to pay the costs rather than using it to buy baby equipment.”
The charity, run entirely by volunteers, provides emergency food, nappies and equipment to vulnerable families with children up to the age of four who might be affected by issues such as domestic violence, benefit cuts, immigration, illness or disability.
Based in Bramley, it has so far helped over 300 people since it began ten months ago and Chantal said the ball was to celebrate its acheivements up to now.
“We are providing a much needed service that we fully expect to expand and demand increasing as time goes by.”
She said another 50 tickets need to be sold for them to break even, adding: “Come and join us for a celebration and a fantastic night out with a three-course meal, live music and entertainment.”
The ball is at the Queen’s Hotel from 7pm, with a masquerade theme, and also includes a raffle and auction.
Tickets cost £35 and can be bought by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Leeds Baby Bank, or to donate money, visit the website www.leedsbabybank.org.