little havens champions are 'having a ball'

06 September 2016

Volunteers from a local children’s hospice, inspired by the care given to one of their sons, are getting glammed up in the name of fundraising.

The group, which dedicates its time to supporting Little Havens Hospice is hosting a second fundraising ball in Chelmsford.

Darren Cooper, 43 from Ingatestone and Derek Briggs, 73 from Wickford, are volunteer Community Champions for the hospice, based in Thundersley. The duo visit schools, organisations and businesses across Essex to give presentations about the care provided by the charity, share their stories and attend events. On Saturday 8th October they will host their second Little Havens Community Ball at Pontlands Park, Chelmsford. 

Last year 107 people enjoyed a three-course meal as well as entertainment and raised £5,850. This year they hope to raise even more as well as celebrating the role the community plays in supporting the care the hospice provides to seriously ill babies, children and teenagers.

Darren started volunteering for the hospice in 2013 after his son, Louis, was cared for there in 2006 before he died aged 10. As well as keeping busy in his role as Community Champion Darren also organises his own events including charity golf days.

Darren said, “We’re all very excited to have pooled resources to organise what we hope will be a brilliant event in support of Little Havens. As Community Champions we all know how important it is for the local community to support Little Havens and this event is the perfect way for us to celebrate that.”

Derek Briggs became a Community Champion in 2012 after fundraising for the charity during his Captaincy at Three Rivers Golf and Country Club in Stow Maries.

He said, “We’re making our final preparations for the ball now and still have a few tables left to sell. I’d like to encourage anybody who is looking for a great way to spend a Saturday night to get together with family and friends, dig out your best posh frock or dinner suit and buy your tickets today. As well as having an enjoyable evening everyone at the ball will be ‘Making every day count’ for local children and families cared for by Little Havens.”

Little Havens is part of Havens Hospices which also incorporates Fair Havens Hospice in Westcliff for adults.

The ball is taking place from 6pm until midnight with dinner served at 7pm followed by a live band and raffle and auction throughout the evening. Black tie is preferred. Tickets cost £55 per person (tables of ten).

To find out more and purchase tickets please call 01702 220305 or visit

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