A GALA dinner held at a Stratford hotel has raised £12,000 for a childhood bereavement charity.
Nikki Thompson and Dave Hughes, who live in Wootton Wawen, organised the event to raise funds for Winston’s Wish, which helps children, teenagers and young adults as they face grief for the first time.
Nikki’s son Oliver lost his life in 2010 at just under three years old and the event was organised to celebrate his 16th birthday. The family lived in Dorridge, Solihull, at the time of the accident.
Around 100 people attended the event at Stratford Park Hotel and Golf Club, with Oliver’s brother Seb, now 18, also attending the evening dinner and dance.
The evening featured a dance, band and three course dinner at the hotel on Ingon Lane. The dinner was followed by an auction and raffle to raise further funds for Winston’s Wish.
It brought the total amount that Nikki has raised for Winston’s Wish to £28,000, building on the £16,000 she raised in 2013 by running the London Marathon for the charity.
Nikki said: “It has been 13 years since we lost Oliver and as he would have been 16 this year, we wanted to do something positive to remember him.
“My partner David found the venue and we discovered quickly that we had a lot of connections with it. I’m a teacher and have taught the children of some of the staff at the venue.
“We had a great text from a friend after the event who said it was the best night they have had in years and how it was a lovely way to celebrate Oliver’s life.
“His brothers Will and Seb are now 21 and 18, with Will at university and Seb joining us on the night at Stratford Park.
“Winston’s Wish is an amazing charity and they really do support the children and families that are left behind.
“As a teacher I come across a lot of children who experience bereavement and charities like Winston’s Wish are important in helping them work through that grief.”