Tag Archives: Ball

Planning A Ball Is Hard Work

Back in October 2015 I decided that my NCT branch (Warwickshire Central) would hold a ball to celebrate the 60th birthday of NCT.

Ball, Charity, NCT, Jubilee

When I first came up with the idea of running a ball I wasn’t sure how it would go down with the rest of the committee, thankfully they were all happy to help. I had big plans for the evening but as the weeks went on and I realised we were the only branch in the country running a ball, I can tell you I was scared! Planning such a big event isn’t easy but as we’re one of the top ten fundraisers in the country I knew we could easily make £1000 from the night thanks to lovely people who had purchased tickets to attend, for example at our November 2015 nearly new sale we made just shy of £4000 sheer profit.  We’re a pretty awesome branch I’m sure you will agree.

The charity is very important to me. I’ve never actually taken an NCT class, which to some people may seem odd – why would I have dedicated the past 3 years of my life to a charity that I’ve never used? Well the answer is simple. I moved to the midlands 4 years ago and I didn’t know anyone – I had no friends or family here so I needed a way to meet people. By volunteering, I’ve made so many friends so not only do I help the charity but in turn the charity has also helped me.

It all started on 4 May 1956 with a small advert in the personal columns of The Times and The Daily Telegraph. The ad called on women to join a new association that would support them through natural childbirth. It would be two more years before the first antenatal classes took place.

Today, NCT courses are attended by over 100,000 parents each year. There are over 300 branches with 15,000 volunteers on hand to help. Online support reaches over 2.3 million parents and parents-to-be each year.

NCT conducts important research to use to lobby for changes to improve maternity and parent services.  Automatic enemas and shaving were scrapped and fathers or partners allowed into delivery rooms all thanks to NCT.  I look forward to seeing NCT help improve services further by the time my daughter has children.

We raised a whopping £1431 on the night and all of the money raised will stay in our community and go towards paying for our breastfeeding services and parent support. We run 3 support sessions every week which are open to all and are free.  These have been invaluable to many local parents.

Cake, NCT, Jubilee, Charity

We were gifted some incredible raffle prizes and one lovely lady in our area donated the amazing cake shown above.  I’m personally looking forward to the next ten years and to see what changes are made in that time.


Dressing For A Charity Ball In Your 30’s

In May NCT will be celebrating it’s jubilee and to celebrate 60 years of the charity, branches are going to promote how they have provided parent support across generations and most branches are inviting old and new members to  a Diamond Jubilee Tea Party. My branch, Warwickshire Central like to really push the boat out and to celebrate we’re hosting a charity ball which is incredibly exciting as we get to keep 100% of the profits made which will go towards helping parents in my area.

Dressing for a charity ball in your 30's

As branch co-ordinator I will be hosting the charity ball which takes place at the Hilton Hotel in Warwick.  I’ve never done anything like this before and I don’t think I will have spoken in front of more than 50 people before so it’s a little daunting and therefore important to me that I wear the right outfit.  I’ll be talking at a podium alongside a video presentation so I don’t want to be tripping over a flowing gown, I also need to make sure that whatever I’m wearing isn’t too low cut or see through and I need to make sure that my shoes are comfortable as I’ll be chatting to everyone who has bought a ticket to find out their NCT story.

I wear black, grey or dark blue all of the time and it’s a very rare occasion when I add something else into my colour chart so my first task is to decide if I’m open to colour or something pale.

I’m already a tall girl at 5’10 so I don’t want to wear heels that are over 3″ high if possible.  I’ve narrowed it down to 5 options and I’m finding it incredibly difficult to decide which dress to go for, here are my favourites:

Coast dress suitable for a charity ball with new look shoes.

This is the Roccabella jacquard dress £195 from Coast which is where I usually buy my occasion wear from.  I’ve paired it with some white leather look heels £17.99 from New Look which are the perfect height for me.  I would happily use this dress again for a wedding or to wear to the races so I would definitely get more than one wear from this.

Jenny Packham ball gown with Carvela shoes suitable for a charity ball

This is the most expensive dress out of my choices, the Jenny Packham Luna hand embellished evening dress is a whopping £225 and is incredibly beautiful, the only thing which is putting me off this dress is the fact I probably wouldn’t wear it again unless I was invited to another ball.  It’s hard ot find shoes to match such a beautiful dress especially when there is so much going on, I really love these Gel Carvela £120 at Kurt Geiger heels and  I would be able to wear them with some of the other dresses I own.

ASOS Tall range cocktail dress with Aniston heels suitable for a charity ball

The Little Mistress prom dress £65 from the tall range at ASOS is really going out of my comfort zone as I never usually wear anything so pale.  I love everything about this dress including the price and I would probably wear both the dress and the Aniston Nine West £49 shoes on a night out or for a wedding or the races so it would be money well spent.

Monsoon cocktail dress and Kathin heels suitable for a charity ball

The picture above does not do the Ceilidh pencil dress £119 by Monsoon justice, the detailing to the neck is nothing short of beautiful,  The Kathin by Vince Camuto £95 heels are the perfect height for me and I think I’d happily be able to stay on my feet all evening wearing these.

House of fraser cocktail dress with topshop heels suitable for a charity ball

My final dress is the Untold Broderie lace fit and flare dress £65, I’m still in two minds about this as it’s probably something I would have worn in my 20’s and I keep doubting myself that I can still pull something like this off.  I really love these Ninety Strappy Sandals £49 from Topshop and readers who were with me in my blogger.com days when I spent most of my money on shoes will remember that at one time I bought most of the heels that Topshop brought out, it seems a lifetime ago that I talked about shoes and my collection that at one point contained over 300 pairs, anyway I digress it’s been a long time since I purchased a pair of Topshop heels (5 years) and these heels are probably as high as I could manage without falling on my bum!

So please put yourself in my shoes, you’re 36 years old and going to a charity ball where you’re representing not only your branch but the charity as a whole – which dress do you pick?

If anyone has hosted a ball or done a presentation I’d love to hear from you for hints and tips!

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