Mamma Mia! Abba night raises £500 for family project in Didcot

Families assisted by The Balsam Family Project said ‘thank you’ this week by organising an ‘Abba night’ to raisemore than £500 for the Didcot-based charity.

Around 100 people attended the fundraiser at The Barn on November 9 – with the event arranged by a group of women grateful that Balsam had been willing to ‘take a chance’ on them. The Balsam Family Project supports families in Didcot who are isolated or facing breakdown. Governed by trustees with experience in the social sector, the project helps families in various ways such as family days and courses in parenting and home management.


Project manager and trustee Alex Walker said: “In today’s world there are many reasons why the work we do is so important.

“Some of the young parents we work with never had good role models themselves, or do not have the support of extended family living nearby. Others might lack confidence in their own parenting abilities, be new to the area, or simply struggling to cope with children with behavioural difficulties.”

Roxy Thorp, who has benefited from Balsam’s assistance over many years, was one of the women who helped put on the event. She said: “Without Balsam, I don’t know where I would be right now.”
Fellow ‘super troupers’ Debbie Lansley, Hayley Wadley, Sabrina Lowe, Lucy West and Amanda Henley-Pearce also worked hard to make the event happen.

The room was stuffed full of silver jump suits, sequins, hot pants and platforms, with old rockers, The Gang Busters, also taking to the stage to perform on the night. The Moreton-based band, who supported Gerry and the Pacemakers in the sixties, gave their services for free. Insomnia Disco provided the Abba beats at a dramatically reduced rate.

Balsam Project manager and trustee Alex Walker added: “It is extremely rewarding and humbling to see some of the people we have supported go to such lengths to give something back for the benefit of others.
“As a charity, we believe wholeheartedly that when you invest in families you enrich communities.”
“Nights like this show just what can be achieved when you show faith in people and give them the support they require, when they most need it.”