Bury St Edmunds: Annual Greene King Charity Ball raises £20k for Focus 12

Greene King Charity Ball

Greene King Charity Ball - Credit: Archant

HUNDREDS of people have helped to raise up to £20k for a Suffolk drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

The money has come from the annual Greene King Charity Ball, which was held in the grounds of the brewery, in Westgate Street, in Bury St Edmunds.

A giant marquee housed guests who contributed the money towards Focus 12 in a variety of ways including two auctions which between them made more than £15,000.

The organisation’s chief executive Chip Somers said: “The support we received from the event was wonderful and it was fantastic to get support from Greene King again and the evening raised much more then we thought it would. Events like these are so important to us.

“The situation for us has got incredible worse as funds have been cut and there are many people who are getting much more affected by drugs and alcohol at an earlier age.

“I believe we are a worthwhile cause as we can help to change the lives of our clients and the lives of those around them but it really has become desperate and quite critical for us.”

During the evening there were passionate eye-witness accounts from two clients who spoke of their lives being dramatically changed and rescued thanks to Focus 12.

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Zoe, who comes from Sudbury, told how she was living a life riddled with drug taking and abuse.

“What they do is amazing. I do not need to take drugs any more and I owe an awful lot to them as they have given me my life back,” she said.

And Joe, who lives in London, told how his troubled childhood and upbringing had forced him into a life of drugs which had “ripped his body apart” and how he was willing to die until he was referred to Focus 12.

Some of the top auction prizes on the night included a three-night stay for two in a four-star hotel, in Barcelona, which went for £1,400; entry into the six-day Gallery Rally to Biarritz, including ferries, hotel accommodation, £1,300; two VIP tickets to see Eric Clapton, at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, £1,000; and Alan Brazil’s TalkSport radio experience and champagne lunch with the former Ipswich and Scotland star, £900.

Others included tickets to top sporting memorabilia and events including football, rugby and cricket matches plus race meetings; top hotels; concerts; and theatres.

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