Shop manager from Dunmow is belle of the ball at annual Helen Rollason Cancer Charity bash

PUBLISHED: 17:38 25 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:26 30 May 2010

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A CHARITY manager from Dunmow was the bell of the ball at a prestigious function in London s Park Lane – and even wore a second-hand dress for the occasion! Nicola Douglas went along to the Dorchester Hotel for the 10th annual Helen Rollason Cancer Charit

A CHARITY manager from Dunmow was the bell of the ball at a prestigious function in London's Park Lane - and even wore a second-hand dress for the occasion!

Nicola Douglas went along to the Dorchester Hotel for the 10th annual Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and was set a challenge by her superiors to find a ball gown fit for a princess to wear at the event.

But she could only search for the dress in the cancer charities own shops.

She said: "We decided to set our network of charity stores the task of finding ball dresses from their shop floors for me to wear on the night.

"There was a brilliant choice of dresses which came back from the shops, some of the dresses were absolutely beautiful. I tried a few on but decided a long dark blue number was the one I was going to wear for the ball. It originally came from our Witham shop in Newland Street.

"The idea of setting our charity shops a challenge was to highlight the quality of donations we get. We want people to realise what you can get from charity shops while helping fund a good cause. What better way to kick start the party season than investing in a charity frock?"

In addition, the ball raised tens of thousands of pounds for the cancer charity which funds cancer support and research into the disease.

The charity is the legacy of Helen Rollason MBE, who was a pioneering female BBC Sport presenter and broadcaster. She died of colon cancer aged 43 in 1999, yet throughout 50 sessions of chemotherapy and despite losing her hair from the treatment, she never missed a day at work.

BBC News presenter Louise Minchin, who attended the 10th anniversary ball, said: "I really enjoyed the Golden Ball, it was a very special way to remember Helen and celebrate the work she did both on and off screen, and also a great opportunity to raise money for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.


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