Belford Hospital hosts special wedding dress charity ball

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Stunning wedding outfits were carefully removed from their storage places and given a special airing in the name of a charity appeal for the Belford Hospital in Fort William.

The Belford Hospital Wedding Dress Charity Ball was staged at the town’s Nevis Centre on Saturday night and saw around 70 people attend the event, including brides, gents, Highland and ballet dancers, amateur ballroom dancers and even an appearance by ‘Elvis’.

The idea for the ball came about after Deneil King, Bonny Watkins and Michelle Purcell decided to do some fundraising in honour of their late parents.

Charity ball organisers Michelle Purcell, Daneil King and Bonny Watkins. Photograph: Abrightside Photography. NO F46 Charity ball organisers Michelle Purcel, Daneil King and Bonny Watkins
Charity ball organisers Michelle Purcell, Deneil King and Bonny Watkins. Photograph: Abrightside Photography.
NO F46 Charity ball organisers Michelle Purcel, Daneil King and Bonny Watkins

Ms King told us: ‘We started a fund called The JJS Fund in honour of Janice, John and Sabrina – a parent to each of us – who lost their lives too soon battling difficult health conditions.

‘Although none of our parents was treated locally, we thought to do something to honour each of them and the healthcare professionals who helped them and us through difficult times, we would focus on our local hospital.

‘We heard about a piece of equipment that could assist in lots of different circumstances called a Motomed [motorised movement therapy device] and decided that would be our first cause, to raise money to purchase this for the Belford Hospital. ‘

Some of those who attended the charity ball. Photograph: Abrightside Photography. NO F46 wedding Ball goers group photo
Some of those who attended the charity ball. Photograph: Abrightside Photography.
NO F46 wedding Ball goers group photo

And, as both she and Ms Purcell were also married in 2018, with Ms Watkins doing their hair and make-up for their big days, that the ball would be a fun way to relive those perfect days and fundraise for their cause.

‘Our event went really well and we had a great time and managed to raise a good chunk of cash for a good cause,’ she continued.

Ms King added: ‘We received an overwhelming amount of support from local businesses, directly involved in the event – The Nevis Centre, Oban Creations, Cheesy Beats, Abrightside Photography, Dean Cameron Videography, Brakes Scotland and Cakes by Sandra.

‘And many other businesses who donated fantastic raffle prizes and made contributions to our gofundme page. The charity ball and the gofundme page together so far have raised a total of £1,013 towards the Motomed.

‘At a total cost of £9,000, there will be a few more fantastic events planned to help us achieve our goal so keep an eye on our Facebook page for more news.’