Business people across Kirklees and Calderdale have donated a life-changing total of £32,000 to two local young people’s charities, thanks to a phenomenal fundraising lunch and auction.

The third annual Kirklees and Calderdale Charity Lunch (KACCL), sponsored by Huddersfield’s Crowther Chartered Accountants, saw 290 people from the local business community come together in December to support the cause.

The money raised during the event on December 6 surpassed all expectations and targets with a record-breaking £32,000 donated on the day – over a third more than at last year’s KACCL.

The amount has been split equally between two charities, with £16,000 donated to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice and £16,000 going to The Orange Box choir; part of Square Chapel’s community outreach programme in Halifax.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice supports local children and families with life-shortening conditions across Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and Manchester. The Orange Box Choir is part of Square Chapel’s community engagement programme which aims to use the arts and music as a tool to reduce social isolation, improve community cohesion and increase the quality of life for young people who have a variety of enhanced needs.

The funding from KACCL will ensure the continuation of the support they provide to young people, covering its running costs, and allowing them to provide a safe and welcoming space for the Orange Box Choir to perform, socialise and form friendships.

Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice needs to raise £4.5 million a year to continue its services, and sadly receives just 3% from government sources meaning it relies on donations and fundraising efforts. The money raised by KACCL enables the charity to provide essential care in the form of family support workers for sick children and their families, meaning they can make the most of every moment together.

This year’s KACCL takes place on December 5 and tickets sold out within a few weeks of going on sale. The event will follow the same format as last year with a prosecco reception, a three-course meal and entertainment at the Cedar Court Hotel in Huddersfield.

Steve Crowther, who remains as chair of KACCL 2019, said: “Being able to hand over such a life-changing amount to Orange Box and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is definitely the highlight of the KACCL experience. It makes all the hard work from the many volunteers worthwhile.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the funds will benefit these worthy causes and are determined to raise even more funds at this year’s event. It’s incredible that KACCL is now gaining so much traction that we have already sold all the tickets for this year’s event.”

The KACCL organising committee represents figures from local businesses across the region, which includes JR Group UK Ltd, Stafflex, Chadwick Lawrence, Faith PR, Eastwood & Partners, Brug Consultancy, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Hellomint, Cedar Court Hotels, Orange Box Young people’s centre and Crowther Chartered Accountants.