More than 220 guests at the Great Somerset Ball enjoyed a celebration of the county while raising funds for St. Margaret’s Hospice.

The black tie event at the County Ground in Taunton raised over £27,000 to help our charity care for 3,800 people a year across Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness.

Stanley Johnson, the author, former politician and star of I’m a Celebrity and The Real Marigold Hotel, was the guest speaker. He said: “My wife Jenny and I visited St. Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton this summer. It was brilliant, and incredibly moving. What we saw that afternoon was real imagination.

“One in every three people who live in Somerset will, one way or another, need the support of this brilliant, brilliant organisation. They can be people of all ages.

“The work they do really reaches out throughout the whole community – and it’s funded by you. St. Margaret’s are really at the cutting edge of something that politically is so important now – real people needing real help, and that’s what you are giving them.”

The Great Somerset Ball was kindly sponsored by Cooper Associates and Maitland Walker. Guests enjoyed a drinks reception on arrival, followed by a delicious three-course meal. Entertainment included a charity auction featuring a wide range of exclusive lots, and music from premier South West covers band Eventine.

Table decorations made by Serena de la Hey, creator of the iconic Willow Man sculpture alongside the M5 near Bridgwater, were also auctioned to raise funds.

Clare Gallie, director of fundraising, marketing and communications at St. Margaret’s Hospice, said: “The Great Somerset Ball was a fantastic night which showed our county at its best. We were overwhelmed by the generous support for St. Margaret’s shown by our wonderful guests, sponsors and everyone who made such a special event possible. It's been lovely to receive such positive feedback from many of those who attended the ball."

Here are just a few of the comments we have received since the event:

"Thank you and many congratulations to you and your team for the wonderful ball. The food was outstanding and the band were excellent. I know these things take a huge amount of time, energy and effort to organise, and this one was a credit to the hospice and its staff and volunteers."

"Congratulations and thank you for such a great night. It really was fantastic, great venue which looked amazing, good food, good music and Terry did a great job as M.C. The silent bid with the iPads worked really well too. The goodie bags were the icing on the cake."

"Our table really loved it and I’m sure will come back next year! I know these things don’t just happen, so well done on all the hard work that went on behind the scenes."

"My congratulations on hosting such an excellent event."

"The ball was amazing – so glad it raised so much."