W4 Black Tie Ball & Auction back this May, raising money for charity

Image above: You shall go to the Ball – 20 May at St Albans Church, South Parade, Acton Green Common

Aim this year – to top the £37,000 raised at the last one

The W4 Black Tie Ball and Auction, which was a huge success in 2018, raising over £37,000 for charity, is back this May, seeking to do even better.

The Ball, held in St Albans Church, Acton Green, offered good food, entertainment with a touch of class, and the opporunity to put your hand in your pocket for something you may or may not have wanted, but would raise money for others less fortunate.

This year, the organisers of the W4 Black Tie Ball and Auction look forward to offering an equally high standard of evening for the local community and those beyond. The 2023 Ball will be raising funds for acet-uk:

‘a Christian charity with a mission to equip and inspire individuals, schools, churches and organisations, in the UK and internationally, to transform culture by promoting healthy self-esteem, positive relationships and good sexual health.’

Acet uk was formed in 1988 in the UK to care for people living with HIV and AIDS and to provide education and training about HIV. Its reach grew with programmes formed in other countries. The charity, which started as a compassionate Christian response to the AIDS crisis and now champions healthy relationships and good sexual health through its Esteem project, will be 35 years old this year.

Image above: W4 Black Tie Ball 2018; photograph Jon Perry

The May Ball is particularly focused on supporting The Shining Star Project, which gives adolescent girls working in the sex trade in Zimbabwe the opportunity to learn vocational skills such as hairdressing, peanut butter making, tailoring and floristry. The Shining Star Project has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

The Shining Star Project rebuilds broken lives, empowering girls and women to create sustainable careers of their own choice, bringing hope and healing to women and girls engaged in sex work in Bulawayo and the rural locations of Hwange and Plumtree” says Rhian Williams, one of the organisers.

“Before coming to the Shining Star project, life was difficult, with no hope for tomorrow. My favourite things have been that I was given the opportunity to start my own business. I plan to make ice cream, selling to individuals. I would like to expand my business into other communities so that I am able to support my children. I have learnt a lot and learnt how to believe in myself.” Hannah* Bulawayo

Images above: Torin Douglas; Adrian Biddell

Hosted by Torin Douglas

Director of the Chiswick Book Festival, Torin Douglas MBE, will be Master of Ceremonies at this year’s W4 Black Tie Ball, Dinner and Auction at St Albans Church, Acton Green.

“After 24 years as BBC media correspondent and 48 years living in Chiswick where he is known by almost everyone,” says Rhian. “Torin knows only too well the importance of positive relationships, a strong local community and the issues of raising young people with healthy self-esteem, that acet-UK seeks to address.”

Adrian Biddell – Auctioneer

Adrian Biddell, leading the Auction, comes to the W4 Black Tie Ball and Auction with vast experience, having worked for 27 years in Sotheby’s. He later joined London gallery Waterhouse & Dodd for two years before setting up as an independent dealer in 2017.

A Chiswick resident, he ran Paintings and Fine Art at Chiswick Auctions with great success from 2019 – 2021 and now works with Olympia Auctions.

Acet uk’s chief executive Catherine Healey said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Torin and Adrian have agreed to preside at this prestigious event. The W4 Black Tie Ball will be a great way to celebrate our 35th birthday and to raise funds for our work both here in the UK and internationally.”

Image above: W4 Black Tie Ball 2018; photograph Jon Perry

The Black Tie Ball will take place on Saturday, the 20 May from 7pm to 11pm at St Albans Church, South Parade, Acton Green Common, W4 5 LG. It will include a Champagne Reception, Dinner, Charity Auction and Live Band and Dancing.

Tickets are on sale at www.jarhia.com where donations for the auction may also be given.

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