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Students’ fun casino night raises £1,250 for Nelson’s Journey

A group of FdA Leisure and Events Management students from City College Norwich have raised £1,250 for Nelson’s Journey, the local charity that supports children and young people who have experienced a close bereavement, through their Fun Casino Night at Dunston Hall.

Friday’s sell-out black tie event gave the 150 guests a night to remember with a range of fun casino games and fantastic entertainment including a Cirque Du Soleil-style dance show, cabaret, a magician and singer Bill Downs, fresh from his recent appearances on BBC talent show The Voice.

The students’ achievement in putting together such a fantastic fundraising event is all the more impressive because they did it without any money to spend.  To make the event possible, the students secured generous donations from local businesses and entertainers. 

This support also enabled the students to organise an auction and raffle, with a range of luxury prizes including a photo shoot and a smart phone.

Putting in to practice the skills and knowledge developed through their course, the ten Foundation degree students organised all aspects of the evening, from securing the venue and entertainment, approaching businesses for the raffle and auction prizes, and undertaking all of the marketing and promotion for the event.

Foundation degree Leisure and Events Management student Hannah Rose, 22, from Norwich, who helped with the marketing for the event, said:

“The event was a huge success and we are really proud to have raised so much money and awareness for Nelson’s Journey.  We have really enjoyed the whole experience of running and organising this event and this will really help us with our next steps of finding employment.”

Ellie Smith, Leisure and Events Management Lecturer at City College Norwich said:

“I am so proud of what the students have achieved with their Fun Casino Night. They have all worked incredibly hard and hosted a fantastically well planned and executed event.”

Sophie Berry, Fundraising and Marketing Officer, Nelson's Journey, said:

"We were extremely impressed with the professionalism of those organising this event and their determination to raise as much money as possible for Nelson's Journey."

"Funds raised from this event will support our direct with children and young people who have experienced the death of a significant person in their life. We are extremely grateful to all who supported this event helping the students support those in their local community."

The students’ fundraising event for Nelson’s Journey was made possible thanks to the support and generosity of Dunston Hall, who provided the venue, and the evening’s entertainers: Mark Hibbitts, Jane Diamond, Chris Whiting, Trevor Thomas, Bill Downs, Kelly Wyke, Gabbie Wilson, Amber Harrold and Fenella-Scarlet Johnson, Dimension Dance (Alice Driver, Lisa Arnup, Natalie Bradley), Elliot Dodgeson and Jay Seaman, and Tom Leverett.

The organisers would also like to thank the following businesses for their generosity in providing raffle prizes, items for auction and other donations in support of the evening: Tescos, Morrisons, Silver Spoon, Forever Living Products, Great Yarmouth Hippodrome Theatre, TY, Norwich Castle, Time Out, Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Monkeybear Art, Pepperberry, Norfolk Snowsports Club, Dunston Hall, Norwich Community Sports Foundation, Virgin, Search Press, Independent Phoenix Training, Norwich Theatre Royal, Cameo Photographic Ltd, Francis Wain, Happy Helpers, Royal Mail, Thwaite Common Stables, Speedy Stamp, Parish Butchers wholesale and retail, Proctor and Gamble, Crafty Crocodiles, Hope for Justice, Sweet Treatz, Walkers, Weston Park Golf Club and The Oaklands Hotel.

Pictured (L-R): Foundation degree Leisure and Events Management students Nicola McErleane, Steph Hailey, Alice Parry, Amy Price, Tanya Lynn, Alice Broughton, Hannah Rose, Laura Fairhead, Rebecca Richardson, Leanne Old and lecturer Ellie Smith (Picture: Terrez Price, Extended Diploma Photography student).