Niamh’s Next Step ball raises more than £35,000

More than £35,000 has been raised in memory of a little girl to fight back against the cancer which claimed her life.

A golf day and gala ball organised by Niamh’s Next Step raised the money for research into neuroblastoma, the childhood cancer which Niamh Curry lost her 18-month battle with in May 2012 aged just five.

Charity patrons including former England cricketer Darren Gough, boxer Peter McDonagh and Saints stars Lee Dickson and Ben Foden were among those at the event attended by 242 people at Whittlebury Hall on Saturday.

A number of other Saints players were there, as well as Tubes from Soccer AM.

But the woman who really captured everyone’s hearts was Dr Kate Wheeler, who treated Niamh while she was ill.

She praised the charity and it’s work to raise vital funds for research into neuroblastoma.

Niamh’s dad Chris Curry of Wellingborough said: “As much as we say as a charity that more funding is needed, when it comes from someone who directly works with funding it definitely touches a nerve.”

He added: “It was a fantastic night. It’s a lot of work but it’s very rewarding. We are just so pleased that so many came along to support us.

“If we didn’t have these people, we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing.”

Reflecting on the event, he said: “I’d like to think Niamh would have been very proud of what’s going on in her memory.”

The final figure included £2,500 collected by Whittlebury Hall staff from hotel guests and those on the golf course.

Twitter tributes

The Twitter feed for Niamh’s Next Step was full of praise for all involved in organising the day.

Among those was cricket star Darren Gough, who wrote on Twitter: “Well done last night. Really enjoyed being there and helping out.”

Devlin from Soccer AM said: “Massive thanks to everyone involved with @NiamhsNextStep for a fantastic event, chuffed to be there for a great cause.”

Stephanie Connolly wrote: “@NiamhsNextStep Gala Ball – just wow! So proud to be involved.”

And @CathyHiya said: “WOW @NiamhsNextStep raised £35,395.50 at their charity golf & gala ball yesterday. Well done Chris & Sam #NiamhsLegacy.”

Drag racing day

More than 2,200 tickets have been sold for the junior drag racing fun day at Santa Pod in aid of Niamh’s Next Step.

The family event on Wednesday, August 20, is free admission and will include junior drag racing action, stunt rider Lee Bowers and monster truck Podzilla.

A spokesman for Santa Pod said: “Chris and Sam are both really looking forward to the day and of course we hope to raise lots of money for Niamh’s Next Step.”