Norwich school’s Aquila Club hard at work during half term ahead of charity ball

Children in Norwich gave up part of their half term break as they continued to work hard preparing to stage a professional charity ball.

The youngsters in the Aquila Club at Kinsale Junior School, in Hellesdon, spent yesterday getting 300 chocolate truffles ready for their guests at next month's event. It follows a morning last week spent hard at work at Dunston Hall, the venue for the ball and auction, learning how to serve drinks for the reception.

The training was given by the hotel's conference and events sales manager Fiona Bovill, who helped the pupils work their way from empty plastic cups to water-filled glasses.

Lucy Brock, 10, who has been part of the Aquila Club for three years, said: 'There were a few accidents but everybody did really well. They are quite heavy so it does get quite difficult once you have walked up and down a few times.'

The children will serve the reception drinks to guests when they arrive for the ball, which is in aid of Norfolk charity Nelson's Journey and Children in Need.

Once diners head to their tables, they will be greeted by the carefully packaged strawberries and cream truffles, which have been donated by the Norfolk Truffle Company.

Lucy, who was joined at school during half term by fellow Aquila Club members Emily Cushion, Sophie Mattholie, Adam Cork and Rebecca Cator, said: 'Rebecca and Adam were putting the truffles in the bags, Emily and Adam were cutting the ribbon, and Sophie and I were tying them and curling them. It's good fun. We get to try them.'

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The charity ball and auction, the latest challenge for the club which has previously created a board game, tourist information leaflet, and a charity cook book, will take place on Saturday November 10. With less than two weeks to go, headteacher Carolyn Baxter, who runs the Aquila Club, said she was pleased with the progress the dedicated youngsters were making. 'We're on the home stretch now,' she said. 'To give up another morning of their half term is just wonderful.'

The children have just a few tasks left including finishing the programme, making the place cards and table plan, and labelling the auction and raffle prizes. They are also still looking for companies to sponsor parts of the ball and particularly need further contributions towards the magician who will perform on the night.

The charity ball and auction, in conjunction with Auction House UK, will take place at Dunston Hall on November 10 in aid of Nelson's Journey and Children in Need. Tickets are �55 each or �500 for a table of 10. They are available from Auction House by calling 01603 505100.

To find out more about sponsorship, contact the school on 01603 425662 or email