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Kidney transplant patient stages Lavender Ball at Ickworth for Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Ipswich Hospital

Geoff Bennet with, from left, The Queen's Chaplain Ann Easter, Charlotte Skinner, Vicky Stephens from Addenbrooke's and Abbie Thoms at the New Life Lavender Ball at Ickworth - photo by Trevor Burch Photography ANL-140623-091843001

Geoff Bennet with, from left, The Queen's Chaplain Ann Easter, Charlotte Skinner, Vicky Stephens from Addenbrooke's and Abbie Thoms at the New Life Lavender Ball at Ickworth - photo by Trevor Burch Photography ANL-140623-091843001

A man who has received a life saving kidney transplant has raised several thousand pounds after staging a midsummer ball at The West Wing at Ickworth.

Geoff Bennet suffered end stage renal failure and an auto immune disorder and needed a vital kidney transplant to save his life. On Saturday the New Life Lavender Ball raised £4,500.

The former Fleet Street journalist from Sudbury survived thanks to the work of Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals and The West Wing at Ickworth was the sumptuous setting for the ball raising funds for both hospitals.

Guests, including nurses and medical staff from both hospitals, were greeted by Pims in the Orangery before enjoying a three course dinner.

Guest speaker was The Rev Canon Ann Easter, Chaplain to The Queen, who is known for her appearances on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show. She gave a humorous and lively talk before there was dancing to Halstead rock band The Beavers.

Also among the guests was surgeon Chris Watson who performed Geoff’s life-saving transplant.

Transplant donor cards were available on the tables to encourage more people to sign up to the programme.

Geoff told diners: “I would like to thank two teams of absolutely astonishing people whose skill and dedication have given me and hundreds if not thousands new lives. I would like to thank the renal team at Ipswich and the transplant team at Addenbrooke’s.”

Geoff also paid tribute to the ’unsung heros’, the nursing staff at both hospitals, and thanked Catherine Roberts, Abbie Thoms and Louise Richardson for their help in arranging the event.

He also presented Linda and Clive Cartmel with a bouquet to mark their 29th wedding anniversary. Linda was among those who nursed him.

A silent auction which included spa days, golfing offers, sporting memorabilia and crafts, raised around £3,000.

The money raised will go towards accommodation for relatives and donors at Addenbrooke’s and improvements to the Ipswich Renal Unit.

 

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