The Robin Cancer Trust is a local charity based in Colchester. Their aim is to raise awareness in germ cell cancer which includes testicular and ovarian cancer in 16-35 year olds. This is right in the Young Farmers age range.
More than 300 people attended the event which consisted of members, subscribers and business associates. Local agricultural machinery firm Crawfords were the main sponsors for the evening.
Essex Young Farmers raised more than £5,000 for the charity during the evening through their heads or tails competition, which involved eliminating everyone who was not standing with their hands on their heads until there were just two left. The winner took home a three litre jeroboam of champagne.
The live auction was run by Kitt Speakman, a local farmer from Little Braxsted. The lots included half a day on a sailing barge in Norfolk, which raised £1,770 alone; a woven silk tie and anniversary book from James Purdey and Sons, the London gun makers; and lunch for two at Tattersalls, the bloodstock auctioneers in Newmarket. The evening was organised by Victoria Freeman, county ball organiser and Hannah Kelsey, Essex Young Farmers county chairman.
“This was the first of the balls which we plan to run bi annually, so it was a brilliant result,” said Ms Kelsey. “We have had county balls before, but they have been for anniversaries.” The ball is one of the main events in Essex Young Farmers’ calendar: the next one is their show, which brings 14,000 people through the gate in one day.
Essex Young Farmers had raised money for the RCT before, but at club rather than county level. “As chairman, I wanted to support the RCT this year,” Ms Kelsey said. Toby Freeman, the RCT’s founder and chief executive, went to the ball with his wife, and said it was an “absolutely incredible” night. The money raised will be used to do everything “bigger and better,” he said – including putting 10,000 awareness leaflets in the hands of 18 year olds at university freshers fairs in a 70 mile radius around Colchester.
The RCT was founded in 2012 following the death of Robin Freeman, aged just 24, after he was diagnosed with germ cell cancer in January 2011.
Germ cell cancers are more than 90% curable if detected early, which is why the RCT aims to educate young men and women about the signs and symptoms to increase the chances of early detection and save lives.
The RCT currently runs two separate awareness campaigns, Talking Bollocks is the testicular cancer awareness campaign and You’re Not Ovary-acting is the ovarian cancer campaign.
Check out hundreds of photos from the ball on our Facebook page