The 2023 Kirklees and Calderdale Charity Lunch (KACCL) has raised £30,000 for Huddersfield-based Project Youth Cancer, which supports teenagers and young adults with cancer and Project Challenge, based in Halifax, which offers training programmes for 16-19-year-olds who have become disengaged from traditional education.   

The annual KACCL event sees nearly 300 businesspeople from across the region coming together at Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top and has raised over £165,000 for charities since its inception in 2016. 

The event, which was once again compered by comedian Pete Emmett, included a charity auction and performances by the local magician’s circle and Orange Box Choir, which is part of Square Chapel Arts Centre community outreach programme. The choir was set up from the funds raised by the second KACCL event in 2017 and has performed at KACCL ever since.     

The event also included a heartfelt speech by Sarah Dransfield, an ambassador for Project Youth Cancer who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 16 and resultingly had her right leg amputated above the knee. Now aged 28, Sarah spoke about the support the charity gave her when her life was changed forever by cancer and shared the positive life lessons she now lives by as a result. 

Steve Crowther, chair of the KACCL Committee and managing director of Crowther Chartered Accountants, said: “We are overwhelmed with the generosity of the local business community who came together to raise over £30,000 at the seventh annual KACCL event. Since its inception in 2016, KACCL has been a beacon of community spirit, and this year’s success brings the total funds raised to over £165,000. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to making this event a resounding success.  

“The impact of these funds will resonate profoundly, providing crucial support to teenagers and young adults facing cancer through Project Youth Cancer, and help empower disengaged 16-19-year-olds with educational opportunities through Project Challenge. We are immensely proud of the positive change KACCL continues to bring to our community, and we look forward to the continued support of our generous patrons in the years to come.” 

Helen Mervill, head of operations at Project Youth Cancer who joined Sarah on stage at the event commented: “There is something very special about KACCL – a mixture of good people and festive spirit culminated in a very poignant event. Coincidentally, we officially launched The Laura Crane Trust 27 years ago in the very same room at the Cedar Court so it was extra special for me personally. The monies raised will make a huge difference to the young people we support who are currently living with cancer.” 

Project Challenge business manager, Lorna Butterick, added “Project Challenge is thrilled to receive this incredibly generous donation from KACCL. The funds will empower us to keep doing what we do best – to support Calderdale and Kirklees’s most vulnerable young people in bespoke education with truly holistic programmes of learning. We are filled with gratitude and appreciation. Thank you to KACCL from the bottom of our hearts.” 

The event is made possible by the KACCL organising committee, comprised of businesses from across Kirklees and Calderdale including Crowther Chartered Accountants, Stafflex, Chadwick Lawrence, Faith Brand Communications, Cedar Court Hotels and two new members for 2023; Snowflake Media and Steve Brighton of Ssangyong dealership.