The Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust raises thousands to help others

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Young people will get a helping hand thanks to thousands of pounds raised at a glittering charity ball.

The Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust has made two donations of £6,000 each to help youngsters following its first annual fundraiser.

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 inspired the formation of the Trust, which staged its Butterfly Ball at Cedar Court Hotel.

Yesterday, the organisation donated £6,000 to a new mentoring programme at Huddersfield University to help youngsters who have been in care to go into higher education.

Huddersfield University also contributed £6,000 to launch the programme.

Samantha’s mum Julie Warren-Sykes said children in care often struggled to get to university.

She said: “The programme will provide them with one hour of mentorship per week, which can make a huge difference.

“The extra support will enable them to access higher education.”

Another £6,000 raised at the ball has been donated to the Hand in Hand Project, which helps tackle child sexual exploitation (CSE).

The project was set up by the Children’s Society and helps young people in Keighley who are victims of CSE or who are at risk being sexually exploited.

The project helps young people get out of abusive relationships and provides training and information sessions to help tackle exploitation.

Mrs Warren-Sykes said: “The Hand in Hand Project works with the victims of child sexual exploitation and helps them rebuild their lives.”

The Butterfly Ball was compered by ITV Yorkshire’s Gaynor Barnes and included music from Meatloaf tribute act Baz Out of Hell at the hotel on Denby Dale Road.

Mrs Warren Sykes thanked everybody who gave their time for free and donated items to be auctioned at the event on November 22.

She said: “The ball was fantastic.

“We had never done anything like that before and there were 300 people in the room.”

In August, £4,000 was raised for the Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust with a football tournament at Eastmoor Rugby Club which saw around 100 players take to the pitch.

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