The Sapphire Ball

The story behind the ball

Claire Burtenshaw

As my school friends and I started discussing plans for our 40th birthdays in the year ahead, thoughts as always turned to Claire whose September the 13th birthday was always the first to be celebrated.

For anyone who has lost someone I’m sure you will know for some reason even though every day can be tough, certain dates and milestones are sometimes that little bit harder and this year was going to be no exception for us all. The 13th September for me will always be a bittersweet one as my first-born child Sienna was born 11 months after Claire passed away, the happiest of gifts brought to me on a day that I will forever wish she could have shared in person with my beautiful friend.

It was out of this conversation and the wonderful happy fun memories we shared that the idea for the Sapphire Ball started, a plan to create a night to hopefully raise a lot of money as a fitting tribute to our glamorous girl next door.

Claire Burtenshaw, an immensely popular, fun, happy young woman with a beaming smile, characteristic laugh and enormous heart sadly lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer aged 34. A people person who loved to party and was the life and soul of every gathering along with her family and friends whom she adored. She studied hard at University to fulfil her dream of qualifying as a dentist where she went on to practice with the highest standards and level of compassion and care.

The Sapphire Ball (Sapphire being the birthstone for September) on Saturday 14th September at The Grand Hotel, Brighton in loving memory of Claire Burtenshaw, sponsored by David Vaughan and McMillan Williams Solicitors will be a glamourous Black-tie charity event in aid of Cancer Research UK and Martlets Hospice. 3 course meal with wine, live entertainment and DJ until 1am with amazing raffle and auction prizes and some fun surprises on the night. Tickets are £75 pp or £700 for a table of 10.

Cancer Research UK are working to prevent cancer, diagnose it earlier, develop new treatments and optimise existing treatments to make them more effective. With over 4,000 doctors, nurses and scientists working hard every day to beat cancer sooner the work they are doing really is seeing results. Survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years thanks to research.

Cancer Research UK don’t receive any government funding. Every penny raised really does make a difference in the fight to beat cancer sooner.

Martlets is a local charity that provides terminally ill people in Brighton and Hove, and surrounding areas, with the very best care and support, helping people do the things they love with the time they have left. Most people receive care from Martlets in their own homes. Outpatients also visit the hospice for pain relief, physiotherapy, counselling, welfare advice and social activities. Others choose to spend their final days at the hospice, or go in as inpatients for respite care or symptom management. Families and loved ones are also supported into bereavement. Martlets runs a 24/7 helpline for free, personal support.

Martlets’ care is only free thanks to the generosity of local people; every donation will help them change lives.

Karen Newman

Registered charity numbers 1089464 & 802145 (England and Wales)