A lavishly decorated Royal Hall shimmered and sparkled as it hosted a milestone celebration all in aid of The Children’s Centre.


More than £60,000 was raised for the charity at its inaugural blue-tie ball at the Villa Marina.

Sponsored by and  Knox House Trust, the event was attended by over 220 guests who enjoyed a sumptuous three-course meal, charity auction and entertainment before dancing the night away to  local soul band Soul Suspects.

Compered by Jo Pack and John Hunter, the evening also featured performances from Ballacottier School Choir and talented young singer Jasmine Colligon.

And to keep guests entertained between courses, award-winning magician and illusionist David Penn – former runner-up in Britain’s Got Talent – moved from table to table to astound them with his unique style of magic tricks.

Chief Executive Officer Fiona Dawson was thrilled by the support of guests.

‘It really was an evening to remember and we are so appreciative of the support we received both from those who attended and donated truly wonderful prizes through to the very generous sponsors.

‘Everyone got into the spirit of the night and I’m sure all who were there agreed the venue looked amazing so a big thank you to our team for all their hard work.

‘This was a very special occasion as we celebrate the organisation’s 150th anniversary.’

Earlier, Children’s Centre Ambassador and guest speaker for the evening, Baroness Michelle Mone of Mayfair, had outlined the importance of the organisation’s work.

The business tycoon, now Island resident, spoke of the unsung efforts of staff in putting the needs of children, young people and families first in the Isle of Man and ensuring they live in a safe and progressive community.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle had welcomed guests before they were addressed by new chairman of The Children’s Centre trustees John Spellman.

Most resources used at the event reflected the charity’s status as a UNESCO Biosphere (IoM) partner from locally sourced produce to foliage and biodegradable pens on the tables.

A prize draw on the night raised £7,726 after the total was matched pound for pound by Barclays.

The auction raised £53,950, including a £30,000 bid by for the Mobex experience, the organisation’s adventure-based activities programme.

Fiona added: ‘It was a fantastic night and will make a huge difference to the children, young people and families that use our services - we are deeply humbled and very grateful.’

How can you help?

There are many ways you can support our work.

  • £3,000 per day to run our charitable programmes
  • £7 benefit for every £1 spent on Thriving families programme
  • 40% of local children and young people engaged in our services
  • 16 groups of all ages hosted at the Farm each week