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Supporting New Ways

The New Ways Advent Ball: A Win-Win, Heads or Tails

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The New Ways Advent Ball: A Win-Win, Heads or Tails - extract from New Ways Newsletter Spring 2015

Back in 2005, Angela asked Northern Trust – a major early supporter of the New Ways Advent Ball - if they could offer some more practical help. And so it was, having known Angela since 1998 as Northern’s Relationship Manager for Unilever, that I stepped up to become the Financial Controller on the ball committee, chaired at the time by Robert Baker. Over the course of the next ten years the Ball was to be held in five different venues, serving over 2,200 meals and countless bottles of wine, and awarding over 300 prizes. Those ten festive, late-November nights raised over half a million pounds for New Ways.

    Many traditions have been established during that time but two come instantly to mind. Number one is that the call to be seated is accompanied by a chandelier-rattling rendition of The Black Eyed Peas’ prophetic anthemI Gotta Feelin’- guaranteed to get everyone in the party mood. The second is the pre-dinner game of Heads and Tails that pits those who choose hands-on-heads against those with hands-on-bottoms until the last man and lady standing wins the Champagne!

    And therein lies the wonderful counterpoint to this event; that amidst a bounty of food in opulent surroundings, the joy of reuniting friends and a wealth of generosity, that on one night in one part of the world so much can be given to change the lives of those with so little just a few thousand miles away. And how significant that toss of a coin: heads you’re born in London, tails in Turkana. And for us all… how that coin could have taken one more turn. But it lands where it falls, and what matters then is what you do for the best.

    As the Ball approaches its twentieth year and I step back from this amazing group of people to focus on my second career as a published novelist, I’ll still carry on doing my bit for New Ways and I encourage you to do the same. Whether it’s by making a monthly subscription or doing something crazy like running a marathon, please continue to contribute to the great work of this fabulous charity. And if you’re going to join me this year as a guest at the Ball - whether to meet up with old friends, to eat and drink well, to give a little money, to share love and respect and be inspired by the humble words and remarkable convictions of the visiting community members (remember the ones who do all the hard work?), or maybe just to boogie into the early hours - I know we can be sure of one thing:it’s gonna be a good, good night!

Steven Hayward

Financial Controller, New Ways Ball


5% of total royalties from the sale of Mickey Take are donated annually to New Ways to support the amazing work of this low cost / high impact charity,