Now more than ever, charities are relying on the generosity of the public and corporate sponsors to help them during the COVID crisis. One ground-breaking charity which was formed just two years ago has announced that it will hold a virtual ball online and everyone is invited.

The Charlie Gard Foundation has already raised worldwide awareness of Mitochondrial disease and helped countless families with support and practical advice as well as working with other charities to help deliver life changing services. 

The foundation was formed after parents Connie Yates and Chris Gard tragically lost their 11-month-old son Charlie in 2017. At just two months old, Charlie was diagnosed with a very rare condition –Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome. Symptoms of the degenerative disease include fatigue, visual and hearing impairment and dysfunction to the vital organs. Medical experts disagreed on treatment for Charlie but an offer of a potentially lifesaving treatment in the USA was on the cards and £1.3 million was raised for Charlie to go to America for the treatment. Sadly, Charlie’s travel abroad was blocked and he passed away before he was able to trial the treatment. There are very few treatments and currently no cure for mitochondrial disease.

Head of Fundraising Stephanie Roundsmith from Stockton is the charity’s national fundraiser:

“Despite COVID, we have adapted our annual ball so that is accessible to all via the internet. Our virtual ball has the advantage that our many international supporters don’t need to worry about flights and accommodation as they can be a part of our amazing evening from the comfort of their own home.

“This special event will not only raise vital funds for our charity but also give people a truly wonderful evening of uplifting entertainment during such difficult and challenging times.

“The best way to describe the evening would be an evening packed with entertainment, music, comedy, raffles, fundraising, charity projects and updates, interviews, auctions and much more. The evening will be run very much the same as a Children in Need or Red Nose Day event.”

The virtual event which will also include celebrities from TV, film, music and comedy will take place on Saturday 28th November.

Tickets are available here:

More information from or website

The online auction will close at 9pm on Saturday 28th November 2020.

 Photo: Last years ball with Charlie’s parents in centred with supporters