New partnership raises almost £50,000 for Kent charity with inaugural fundraising gala

A local fundraising event has raised £47,500 for Kent charity, Spadework, the award-winning organisation supporting adults with learning and other disabilities, people experiencing mental health challenges and those living with dementia.

Spearheaded by Kent-based housebuilder, Fernham Homes, as part of its new partnership with the charity, and hosted by The Swan in West Malling, the inaugural gala brought together almost 120 people for a drinks reception and banquet dinner donated by the owners of The Swan and an auction of experiences and luxury items generously gifted by businesses and individuals across the community.

The result of the evening exceeded Fernham Homes’ three-year fundraising pledge, which aimed to raise £10,000 per year. The gala dinner, along with the team’s other fundraising activities since establishing the partnership earlier this year, sees it on track to raise close to £60,000 by Christmas.

The funds will provide significant support in the fundamental operating costs of Spadework’s facilities in Offham, which include a garden centre, café and farm shop run with the Trainees, and to make accessibility upgrades across the five-acre site. They will also enable Spadework to continue the expansion of its services to offer greater support across mental wellbeing and those living with dementia.

Kris Healey, CEO of Spadework, commented: “This is a truly staggering amount to have raised in one evening and will leave a real lasting legacy, allowing us to have a greater impact on the lives of more people. These are challenging times for any charity and our work is only made possible by the whole-hearted support of our community, which never fails to astound us.

“Our collaboration with Fernham Homes is one of real partnership. The whole team truly lives and breathes Spadework, supporting our work with their expertise, time and wider promotion. They really are exceptionally proactive ambassadors and I’m excited to see what more we can achieve together over the coming years.”

Sean Ellis, managing director of Fernham Homes, explained: “The Fernham Homes Gala was not only a night of fundraising but also a night of celebration, connection, and community. The generosity shown has been overwhelming. We are so proud to be working with Kris and the team and, together, making a meaningful impact on such a worthy cause in the heart of our local community. We look forward to growing our partnership over the coming years and for the gala to become an annual celebration we can all look forward to.”

Nick Levantis, co-owner of The Swan, added: “Darryl (Healy) and I have worked with Spadework for many years and we jumped at the chance to be involved in the gala. It was a great way of bringing the community together and we are thrilled to be able to make such a difference to a charity that plays such an important role in our community.”