A FUNDRAISING ball is to be held in memory of a much-loved Llay teenager who died of a brain tumour in 2005.

Wrexham financial firm, Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management is the main sponsor of the 1960s themed ‘Groovy Kind of Ball at Chester Racecourse pavilion on Saturday, April 21, in aid of Nicola’s Fund.

The charity was launched 12 years ago by the parents of Nicola Riley.

Nicola’s bravery and generous spirit inspired her parents, Debbie and Steve, to carry out their daughter’s wishes and set up a charity treating seriously ill children to much needed holidays with their families.

Steve, who works with Hadlow Edwards, said his daughter was its driving force: “This really was Nicola’s initiative, we’re simply following through her wishes. Before she died she told us she wanted to create a fund to help children going through the hardship of illness.

“She’d be so proud of its success and to see how many children benefit.”

The charity, which has raised more than £600,000 to date, has helped about 650 children and their families, sending them on holidays to its two caravans in Porthmadog, North Wales, and adventure breaks at Centre Parcs.

Hadlow Edwards Director, Medwyn Edwards, a patron of Nicola’s Fund, said: “Nicola’s Fund is particularly close to our hearts as we’ve known Steve and Debbie professionally and as friends for many years.

“The work they’ve put in and the original idea for the fund – which came from Nicola herself – have always impressed us.

“The Nicola’s Fund balls are always a fantastic evening out which we all look forward to and so I would urge people to think about getting a table together and coming to enjoy the evening.”

Anna Culshaw, now 20, of Carrog, near Corwen, was the first recipient of a Nicola’s Fund holiday when she was fighting a rare form of blood cancer.

She will be a special guest at the ball, delivering a talk about her experience of Nicola’s Fund and how it arranged an unforgettable getaway for her family at Centre Parcs.

About 320 tickets have been sold to the ball, including to many of Nicola’s former friends from Hammond School, Chester, where she was a talented dance, music and drama student.

Nicola passed away on April 20, 2005, five days before her 15th birthday.

A ball in her honour has been held every two years since, with the 2016 one marking the fund’s 10th anniversary. In that time the charity has raised more than £600,000, all going directly to Nicola’s Fund which is solely run by volunteers.

Steve said: “Parents of children who are so ill face practical as well as emotional burdens which makes going away very strenuous.

“So we keep our holidays as stress-free as possible.

“Our two caravans in Wales and the Center Parcs breaks are perfect, offering relaxing, fun times in a simple environment.”

The charity currently needs £10,000 for decking alongside its caravans, plus some additional furniture, as well as continuing to pay the full cost of holidays for families and ‘spending money’ while they are away.

To further the cause, Anna Culshaw’s dad, Eddie, is planning a sponsored cycle in April. He and two pals Tony Perry and Pete Shaw, will pedal a staggering 1,022 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

For tickets to the ball and/or to donate, visit the website: www.nicolasfund.co.uk

To sponsor Eddie and his cycling pals visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/3men3bikes2weeks or text ECUL56 with a donation (eg £5) to 70070.