Sheffield’s biggest fancy dress party raised £80,000 for charity

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Pop singers, burlesque dancers and sailors have had a ball raising money to help save lives in Sheffield.

Weird and wacky outfits were the order of the night at one of Sheffield’s biggest fancy dress parties.

The annual event, at Sheffield Hallam University’s Hubs, is organised by three sisters-in-law – Michelle France, Barbara France and Sharon Beresford.

The ladies decided to start their charity work after Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997.

Sharon, aged 58, from Halfway, then fell ill with the disease a year later.

Michelle, aged 57, of Waterthorpe, said the event – in its 14th year - raised £6,500 for breast cancer research at the city’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital. She said: “The hospital set up the France Scholarship last year, which pays for two students to take a year out of university and study breast cancer.”

Sheffield Hallam provided use of the Hubs for free, as Michelle and 58-year-old Barbara, from Sothall, work at the university as catering assistants.

The latest amount brings the total raised by the women to £80,000.

Michelle was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for her charity work last year, when she was awarded the British Empire Medal. She said: “We don’t do this to get recognised. We do it because it’s in our hearts.

“The event gets better and better every year. If it wasn’t for these people which turn up every year and buy tickets then we wouldn’t be here.

“I can see the three of us never stopping doing this. When we do get too old to arrange it then our kids will take over.”

Tickets for the next ball, on Saturday, April 11, 2015, will go on sale after the Christmas period.