Happy Mondays’ chateau prize and Ben Haenow performance helps raise £10,000 for Lancaster homeless charity

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Almost £10,000 was raised at a homeless charity ball with raffle prizes including a stay on a 70ft yacht and a holiday in a French chateau donated by The Happy Mondays.

The annual ball held to raise money for Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) also featured a performance by X-Factor winner Ben Haenow who said he “jumped at the chance to support a great charity”.

The event was held on Saturday November 17 with over 230 people attending.

Prizes including stays on two yachts, and at a chateau in France donated by Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder and jewellery donated by Banks Lyon.

Ben Haenow said: “When I auditioned for the X Factor in 2014 I became good friends with Paul Akister who was also on the show.

“We went through the shows together and became good friends so I have been to Lancaster a few times and really enjoy my time there.

“I have also become friends with Darren Mills who does a lot for the charity so when he asked me to sing I jumped at the chance to support a great charity but a great excuse to come to Lancaster to see some good friends.

“No one deserves to be on the streets especially this time of year so if I can do a little to help then I’m happy with that.

“Living near to London and travelling the country I see first-hand the impact of homelessness, especially at this time of year as the temperature drops.

On one hand I see around the country thousands of new homes being built but on the other a lot of derelict housing which surely could be converted to support street homeless people looking for a little support.”

Darren Mills, trustee at LDHAS and organiser of the event, said: “To be able to support such a localized charity that is exclusively focused on our communities homeless is an honor.

“To be able to raise some money for a charity that exclusively relies on charitable donations and grants is a blessing.

“Every year there is always a worry that no one will turn up or being close to Christmas they choose to save their money.

“I’m taken aback by the generosity and good will of our community to support each other.

“This year’s ball in particular was the largest attended with 240 people taking time out of there busy lives to support the charity.

“We were donated some wonderful auction prizes from boat charter companies, Michelin star restaurants and even a couple from the Happy Mondays.

“It just goes to show how generous people can be.

“I’d like to take time out and thank everyone personally that came and support the event.

“It means the world to me that we can do this for the LDHAS.”

Sponsors of the event included Cox Motors, The Borough, QSF and IT Works Resource Group.