Charity ceilidh raises £2,7000 for hospitals that saved woman's life

PUBLISHED: 15:06 15 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:55 18 November 2019

A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

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A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise £2,700 for two hospitals.

Ely woman Sheila Neill survived two failing heart valves and bowel cancer. To say thank you to the hospitals that helped save her life, she is holding a charity ceilidh at Ely College on November 9. Picture: SHEILA NEILL.Ely woman Sheila Neill survived two failing heart valves and bowel cancer. To say thank you to the hospitals that helped save her life, she is holding a charity ceilidh at Ely College on November 9. Picture: SHEILA NEILL.

Sheila Neill organised the charity ceilidh after undergoing treatment at Papworth and Addenbrooke's over the last 18 months.

She had an open heart operation and treatment for bowel cancer.

Sheila said: "It was a way of celebrating life and expressing my thanks for all the help I have received."

A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE
A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

The ceilidh was led by local group Catch The Pigeon with caller Trevor Smith directing the dances.

Additional entertainment came from local folk singer Andy Wall and newcomer Oscar Wolfe, who entertained the audience with a few songs.

Brian Watson also led a raffle, with prizes donated by many local companies.

A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE
A fundraising evening of traditional dancing and storytelling took place at Ely College to raise money for two hospitals. Picture: MIKE ROUSE

The event took place on November 9 from 7-11pm.

Mayor of Ely Mike Rouse was also in attendance and joined in with Sheila and her friends for a dance or two.

Sheila added: "This is all thanks to the fabulous team of volunteers. John Blackwell and Catch the Pigeon ceilidh band, entertainers Brian Watson, Andy Wall and Oscar Wolfe.

"I'd also like to thank Alan Battersby for the food and Annie Baty for the food and decorations, Phil Utting-Brown and Dave for the bar, Richard Beswick as floor manager and Joan and Andy Wall on the door and raffle.

"As well as all my friends and family who helped on the night, I'd like to thank all the sponsors. For example, Waitrose, Topping's Bookshop, Toppers Hair Design, my friend Jonathan Deer for making the solid silver earings for the raffle, and Oliver Cromwell's House.

"There were many others who donated cash or raffle prizes which enabled the evening to be a huge success.

"But most of all I would like to say thank you to all the people who came to the ceilidh, bought tickets, threw themselves into the dancing and creating a great atmosphere.

"What a way to express our joy at living and thanks to the NHS."

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