A fancy way to help save lives in Sheffield

More fancy dress partygoers
More fancy dress partygoers

SUPERHEROES, comedy characters and pop singers had a ball in Sheffield...and it all raised money to help save lives.

The annual fancy dress ball held by three sisters-in-law - Michelle France, Barbara France and Sharon Beresford - returned to Sheffield Hallam University’s Hubs venue for another year, with revellers donning weird and wonderful costumes to party the night away.

Michelle said this year’s ball - the 12th - was the best yet, raising around £5,000 for breast cancer research at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. The fundraiser, aged 54, from Waterthorpe, said: “It was just fantastic. The effort people put into it is just unbelievable. It gets better and better every year, it really does.”

Michelle said 800 tickets were sold at £5 each, with all of the proceeds going towards the vital hospital work.

“Everything we get we donate, we don’t get anything out of it. Every penny we earn goes to breast cancer research.”

The ladies decided to start their charity work after Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 1997.

Sharon, 55, from Halfway, fell ill with the disease a year later.

“We decided to do it for the people who literally saved our lives,” Michelle added.

This year’s more outlandish costumes included a woman dressed as if she was being eaten by scary shark Jaws, while others came as singer Katy Perry, Batman and Little Britain’s Lou and Andy.

The three organisers also came up with imaginative outfits - Barbara wore a Lady Gaga costume, Sharon went as a Spanish flamenco dancer, and Michelle was a ghoulish character called Lady Gruesome.

“Every year we go as something different, and nobody tells each other what they’re going as,” Michelle said.

Sheffield Hallam provided use of the Hubs for free, as Michelle and Barbara, 55, from Sothall, work at the university as catering assistants.

Professor Malcolm Reed, the specialist who leads the cancer research, visited for the first time.

“He said he was absolutely amazed, and that he was going to make sure he was around for next year, he said he’d even dress up,” Michelle said.