Butterfly Ball raises £11,000 for foundation

Ben Sykes spoke at the event.
Ben Sykes spoke at the event.

Thousands of pounds was raised to give young people a helping hand at a glittering ball.

The Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust held its annual fundraiser at the Pavillion Centre at Elland Road, Leeds.

ITVs Gaynor Barnes.

ITVs Gaynor Barnes.

The event, compered by ITV’s Gaynor Barnes, raised more than £11,000.

Samantha, 18, and Kimberley Frank, 17, were killed on March 9, 2012, in Eastmoor by Ahmad Otak, who was jailed for life.

The tragic events led to the formation of the foundation, which supports organisations working with young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

The foundation also helps young people who have been in care go into higher education.

It has so far donated £10,000 to help students who are care leavers at Huddersfield University.

Speakers at the Butterfly Ball, attended by more than 400 people, included Samantha’s brother Ben.

Mum Julie Warren-Sykes said: “Ben spoke from his own personal experience of how he lost his sister. We managed to raise more than £11,000.”

The Butterfly Ball was compered by Gaynor Barnes and there was music from the Solicitors.

Speakers included Allan Doherty, who was runner-up in the election to be West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Laptop computers were presented to Huddersfield University by the foundation, along with books and other equipment.

Mrs Warren-Sykes said: “The foundation is growing and doing what we want it to do. It’s profile is growing.

“We have spoken nationally about the victims of child sexual exploitation and the care scheme.”

The Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust will be holding a fundraising bag pack at Sainsbury’s, on Ings Road, Wakefield, on December 16, 17 and 18.

For more information about the organisation, log on to www.samanthasykesfoundation.com