Charlie and Carter Foundation anniversary ball is ‘a night to remember’ raising more than £15,000

A South Tyneside charity which supports families of seriously ill children celebrated its 6th anniversary with a fundraising night to remember.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 4th November 2019, 5:51 pm
(From left) Chris and Sarah Cookson with charity manager Joanne Nicholson and husband Mark Nicholson who was hosting on the night. Credit: Halo Photography
(From left) Chris and Sarah Cookson with charity manager Joanne Nicholson and husband Mark Nicholson who was hosting on the night. Credit: Halo Photography

The annual Charlie and Carter Foundation anniversary ball, held on Saturday, October 26, saw more than 200 guests gather for a glittering evening at the Gateshead Hilton Hotel.

The event raised more than £15,500 for the charity, which was set up by Sarah and Chris Cookson in the name of their sons Charlie and Carter who lost their lives at just two and a half and 25 days.

This year’s ball was the first to be held since the couple tragically lost Carter in January this year, after he was born with a heart defect and no donor could be found.

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(From left) Sarah Cookson with charity manager Joanne Nicholson. Credit: Halo Photography

The Foundation used the event to raise awareness of organ donation, with a speech from Kaylee Ann Davidson-Olley, now 31, who was the first baby to receive an organ transplant in the UK.

Musician John Miles gave a surprise performance on the night and the charity’s patron, Faye Tozer was spotted teaching some moves on the dancefloor.

“It was an amazing night, we’re over the moon with it,” said charity manager Joanne Nicholson.

“To bring the money in is unbelievable, we can’t thank everybody enough, but this year it was more about raising awareness and we certainly got that point across.”

Charlie and Carter Cookson Foundation anniversary ball hosts Mark Nicholson (left) and Shaun Darcy.

She continued: “We’re still such a small charity, we want to go further afield, out of South Tyneside if we can, raising the profile of the boys and what we do for families who need our help, as well as raising awareness of organ donation, so having Kaylee there to talk about it was perfect.”

Since it was founded in 2013 the charity has provided over £200,000 in financial support and helped more than 60 families of children with serious and life-limiting conditions.

“What Sarah and Chris have done and continue to do is amazing. They’re changing lives whilst going through heartache that no one should have to go through,” Joanne added.

“We’re going to have a massive year next year, it’s full steam ahead already.”

Charity patron Faye Tozer
Charlie and Carter Foundation 6th anniversary ball.