'Hopes and Dreams' ball returns to York for sixth year

The Macmillan ‘Hopes and Dreams’ ball returned to York for its sixth year <i>(Image: UGC)</i>
The Macmillan ‘Hopes and Dreams’ ball returned to York for its sixth year (Image: UGC)

A CHARITY ball, which has raised more than £130,000 for cancer support in York, returned to the city for its sixth year recently.

In October, over 520 people attended the Macmillan ‘Hopes and Dreams’ ball at York Racecourse. The annual ball has now raised over £130,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

This year’s event returned with the theme ‘Best of British’ and was dedicated to organiser Matt Ascough’s mum, Ann Precious. Matt, who lives in Yearsley near York, was first motivated to host the Macmillan ball following the support he had from the charity eight years ago after a diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Matt, then aged 26, praised the support of his Macmillan nurse in the weeks after his diagnosis and surgery. The event has taken on fresh significance this year as his mum, who Matt describes as “his rock."

York Press: Matt Ascough, who organises the ball every year
York Press: Matt Ascough, who organises the ball every year

Matt Ascough, who organises the ball every year (Image: UGC)

Matt said: "This year’s Macmillan ball was dedicated to my mum. It meant everything to have her there on the night after what has been an incredibly tough year.

“Caring for mum this year opened my eyes to how much a diagnosis of cancer affects everyone around the person - and this is where Macmillan’s support can really make the difference.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me, their generosity means we can help many more people living with cancer.”

Matt, who had already raised over £90,000 for Macmillan, set himself a target of £28,000 for 2022’s glamorous event, incredibly Matt’s fundraising for this year’s ball topped £38,000, taking his total to over £130,000 to support people living with cancer.

York Press: This year's event raised £38,000 for Macmillan
York Press: This year's event raised £38,000 for Macmillan

This year's event raised £38,000 for Macmillan (Image: UGC)

He added: "I am totally gobsmacked by this incredible amount. I knew it wouldn’t be easy this year as people struggled with the cost of living crisis, which makes the level of support I’ve had even more phenomenal.

“Businesses and individuals have been so generous, it’s heart-warming to see people coming together behind such a good cause.”

Matt, who works as an operations manager at York Racecourse, raised the amount through tickets sales, sponsorship and his JustGiving page.

Becci Shanks, Macmillan’s fundraising manager, praised Matt's efforts raising money for the cancer support charity,

Becci said: "Everyone at Macmillan would like to extend our thanks and congratulate Matt, to raise £38,000 - £10,000 over his initial target - is incredible and it’s humbling to see his well-loved fundraising event go from strength to strength.

“Matt puts his heart and soul into the Macmillan ‘Hopes and Dreams’ Ball and this shines through on the night, his achievements are down to the hard work he puts into the organisation of this fabulous event.”

“All of the money raised will make a real difference to local people living with cancer.”

York Press: Around 520 people attended this year's ball
York Press: Around 520 people attended this year's ball

Around 520 people attended this year's ball (Image: UGC)

People can still support Matt’s fundraising by donating to his JustGiving page at: https://bit.ly/3VpdYfh