|The Friends of Denstone is a group of volunteers including parents, staff and past students.
It organise two social events a year that are open to all parents and their friends. Our annual Food and Drink Fair in November brings together artisan producers from Staffordshire and surrounding counties plus a variety of stalls organised by the Friends including a Chocolate Tombola for the pupils and Friends of Denstone branded Christmas puddings. With hot chocolate, mulled wine and wood fired pizza it's a great excuse to start your Christmas shopping whilst indulging in some tasty lunch.
Every other January, the Friends of Denstone organise a themed party evening in the Dining Hall. With supper, welcome drinks, a fully stocked bar run by Mambo Bars and music from Dave Dee Disco, these nights are great fun. Past themes have included "Apres Ski" and "Fiesta Mexicana" and whilst it is not obligatory to wear fancy dress, many parents enjoy embracing the theme.
The Friends of Denstone main event is our Spring Charity Ball which is held in a marquee in the grounds of Denstone College in late spring/early summer. The Ball is held in a separate year to the January social. This is a black tie event with a drinks reception, live band, professional bar, seated dinner, raffle and auction and the aim is to raise money for charity. Past themes have included Great Gatsby and Bombay Dreams and we typically raise in excess of £10,000 for our chosen charity. Parents are quite welcome to dress according to the theme if they so wish or to add to their "black tie".
Feel free to contact us on email@example.com with any queries or to book tickets or come along to one of our meetings held on a Wednesday evening in the Dining Hall. Email the Friends to find out when the next meeting is.
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Thanks to all those who attended our Fiesta Mexicana and in particular to those who embraced the theme. We had some fantastic costumes which really set the tone for the evening.
Proceedings began with welcome drinks of Margaritas and Mexican beers which were served in the brightly decorated Lodge to the sound of Mexican mariachi music.
Once everyone had made their way through the cacti to the dining room, guests were served a delicious supper of dips, nachos, beef strip chilli, chicken enchiladas, rice, salad and garlic bread by the Colleges fantastic catering staff.
Our thanks go to Dave Dee Discos who kept the part jumping with guests dancing the night away to old favourites and new and Mambo Bars providing much needed refreshments and of course tequila slammers!
Our second Christmas Food and Drink Fair, which was held on the 18th November, was another resounding success. 23 Artisans from all over the region treated us to their array of delicious produce. Outside the Drill Hall we could warm ourselves with wood-fired pizzas and freshly made crepes and inside indulge in a cup of hot chocolate, tea & coffee and of course mulled wine. New stalls this year included Nelsons Gin which is owned by a Denstone parent, Peakstone Rock Brewery, Hunnypot Cottage who make Artisan Breads and Camaya chocolate to name a few. Regulars such as Brockleby Pies and the Herb and Spice Company were delighted with their sales yet again. Darley Abbey Wines, who provide the wine for our Charity Ball, highlighted the Rioja region this year and had several delicious Spanish wines to taste. The Friends even added a new stall of their own this year - Denstone College branded Jute bags. We have plenty in stock, just email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise collection and payment (£5).
Thanks to all who attended, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. A special thanks to all who donated cakes for our cake stall or chocolate for our chocolate tombola (we really appreciate your donations) and thanks of course to the hardworking Friends team. And last, but by no means least, thanks go to the pupils who worked tirelessly to sell raffle tickets and Denstone College bags and walk the pitches armed with leaflets.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2018.
Following the success of the 2017 Bombay Dreams charity ball, we were delighted to present our chosen charity Newlife with a cheque for an incredible £10,000. The money raised was to help three year old Freddie Khoneizer who has a rare form of Marfan's Syndrome which affects Freddies mobility and causes rapid growth. Freddie now has his specialist car seat in which he can travel to appointments safely, thanks to the help of Newlife and Friends of Denstone.
Event organisers Julia Belton and Angie Anderson said: “We are thrilled to have helped Freddie and five other Staffordshire children with the proceeds from our Bombay Dreams charity ball this year. We are very proud that Denstone parents gave so generously to what is an extremely worthwhile cause, and, from an organisers’ point of view, knowing that local disabled children have really benefitted makes all the hard work worthwhile.”
Thank you to all the parents who bought tickets to the ball, those who very kindly donated auction and raffle prizes, and the sponsors who stepped forward to help finance the drinks reception and band. Each one of those people made this presentation a reality, and an incredibly good evening.
We very much look forward to seeing you at our next event.
On Saturday 19th November, Friends of Denstone hosted our first Christmas Food and Drink Fair. 22 Artisans from all over the region treated us to their array of delicious produce. Speciality coffees, wood-fired pizzas, homemade pies, chutney, cheeses, herbs and & oils, cakes, gins, bespoke chopping boards, and even chocolate from the man who made Prince William's wedding cake. Thanks to all who attended, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Our Cake stall and Chocolate Tombola were a great hit, so many thanks to all who donated, as well as the hot chocolate with marshmallows. The mulled wine was bubbling from 12 noon until 4.30pm so more thanks go to all our wonderful Friends who manned our raffle stall, our own branded puddings and hot drinks, so well. Congratulations to the winners of our first Great Denstone Bake Off: 1st Prize - Tiernan Shortt, 2nd Prize - Tom Ayre, Third Prize - Georgina Startin.All cake entries were of such a high standard, we don't know how the catering team managed to choose a winner.Do let us know if you enjoyed the event and if you would like Friends to repeat the Food and Drink Fair in 2017.
Thank you to all those that attended our alpine themed event in January. Guests were given their official ski pass on arrival along with a welcome glass of hot Gluhwein. The lodge, corridors and dining hall were transformed with fairy lights, snow and woodland trees and twigs by our volunteers. We all danced to the beats from DJ Dave Dee. Le Rac Shack provided a full bar and alpine supper. Feedback has been fantastic. Special applause goes to the guest who danced in full ski wear including ski boots!
- DONNA LOUISE COLLECT A DONATION FROM FRIENDS OF DENSTONE WITH THANKS
Following the success of the Great Gatsby Summer Ball in 2015, we are delighted to announce that the outstanding Donna Louise Children's Hospice charity visited Denstone College and were presented with a cheque for a staggering £16,000.
Liz Gratton, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity, asked that we pass on her grateful thanks for the donation and pledged that the money would be put to work immediately.
The Donna Louise Children's Hospice Trust was created to respond to the need for a children's hospice service for Staffordshire and Cheshire. The Charity takes its name from a young local girl, Donna Louise Hackney, who sadly died from a life threatening condition at the age of 16.
Angela Anderson, chair of Friends of Denstone said "We are so proud of everyone who made this possible. From the parents who bought tickets to the ball, to all those who kindly donated auction prizes and raffle prizes, not forgetting our amazing sponsors who so graciously stepped forward to help finance the drinks reception and band. Each one of those people made this presentation a reality. We can't thank them enough."
Angela presented the cheque to Liz Gratton along with Julia Belton, fellow ball coordinator and the longest-serving Friend of Denstone Mike Swales.
In Summer 2015, our glamorous Great Gatsby Ball was attended by almost 300 Denstone parents and guests. Huge thanks go to all those who graciously stepped forward with offers to sponsor the band and champagne reception.
In addition, the raffle and auction prizes, generously provided by parents and local businesses, enabled us to donate a staggering £16,000 to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Staffordshire.
Looking ahead, we plan to run a similar event in the Summer of 2017. Early feedback suggests that tickets will sell out fast next time!
Wow, it was so much more than I expected. Well done the Friends - it was amazing! - Year 5 parent
Is it too early to book the next table now? - Lower 6th parent
The food, the band, the table decorations, the bar… We were dancing all the way home. Thank you and very well done! - Year 2 parent