Black tie ball to be held at Essex Elizabethan mansion to raise money for teenager Maddi’s gene therapy

PUBLISHED: 15:25 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:26 23 January 2018

Carina Thurgood with daughter Maddi. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT

Carina Thurgood with daughter Maddi. Picture: CELIA BARTLETT

Archant commissiond. Copyright © 2017 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved

A black tie ball is to be held to raise money for special gene therapy for a teenager diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease.

The Maddi Foundation, a charity set up to help 16-year-old Saffron Walden County High School pupil Maddi Thurgood.

Maddi, who was previously a pupil at Helena Romanes in Dunmow, was diagnosed two days before her 15th birthday in April 2016. There is no known cure for her condition, called SPG15, but her family are paying for research to create a special gene therapy tailored for her at Sheffield University of Neurosciences (SITRAN).

If there is a breakthrough, it could help other people, including children, around the world. Currently Maddi is the only diagnosed SPG15 in the UK. The cost of the work is £224,000, Maddi’s family have raised over half of this so far.

The ball will be the Elizabethan Down Hall near Hatfield Heath on Friday, March 9 and hosted by actress Vicki Michelle from the BBC Television sitcom Allo Allo. There will be entertainment by Britain’s Got Talent finalist, singer, Wayne Woodward.

The evening includes a three-course meal and a live and silent auction.

Tickets are £80 per person. There are two business sponsorship packages. The silver one includes champagne on arrival, unlimited beer, house wine and soft drinks and the company’s logo on all event material as well as a branded thank you on the ball’s website and social media pages and a full-page advertisement in the event brochure. A table for 12 costs £3,000.

The platinum package includes all this plus a choice of six double bedrooms for the night at Down Hall with breakfast or a chauffeur driven Mercedes or equivalent to and from home for each couple up to 30 miles. It also includes a prominently displayed banner at the event advertising the company, six bottles of champagne at the table and the company logo displayed as the main sponsor on the website for a year. A table for 12 costs £5,000.

To book, email Carina Thurgood, or contact Joseph Warren at Down Hall,, 01279 732125.

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