Battersea Police Ball
It's become known as the biggest charity party in Battersea, and there's no doubt that for many people the Battersea Police Ball marks the start of the festive season. In 2014 over 1400 people came along, raising a record £81,000 to help the Battersea Crime Prevention Panel fund the Sport in the Park event, and many other projects.
The first ball was in 1992, in the Battersea Town Hall, now the Battersea Arts Centre. The ball was the brainchild of PC John Johnson and the aim was to raise funds for Alarms for the Elderly. Around 200 people attended, and the event confounded everyone's expectations by raising over £1,000.
The event soon outgrew the space available in the Town Hall, as the demand for tickets rapidly rose, and the Ball's next home was a large marquee in Battersea Park.
For some years now the event has been staged at Battersea Evolution. It has become one of the largest charity Balls in London and is the reason why the Panel is able to function so successfully, with much of its funding coming from income raised by this event.
The organisation is co-ordinated by a small, dedicated committee. The detailed planning involves providing all the auction items, 450 raffle prizes, arranging publicity, producing the progamme and finding advertising to cover costs. Volunteers are always very welcome! The actual Ball office is run by a single individual who undertakes the formidable task of overseeing the detailed co-ordination with the hospitality company; issuing tickets, and drawing up a seating plan for over 1600 revellers.
It's a tribute to the team's efficiency that everyone always has a wonderful time, with people returning year after year!