Mayor James Palmer invites you to his inaugural summer ball - in the Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral

Mayor James Palmer

Mayor James Palmer - Credit: Archant

Mayor James Palmer has booked the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral to host his first inaugural summer ball for charity.

He will raise funds for Cambridgeshire-based PTSD999, which supports emergency services personnel suffering with post-traumatic stress.

“There’s still plenty of tickets available and all are welcome,” his political adviser Luke Page revealed today.

Cambridgeshire-based PTSD999 was co-founded by former soldier Simon Durance and former soldier and police officer Gary Hayes, both of whom have suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The black tie event will be held on June 29 and highlights will include drinks and canapés on arrival, a sit-down three-course mean followed by music and dancing.

The entertainment will also include an auction of promises to which businesses, organisations and individuals are invited to donate prizes to help raise more money on the night.

His spokesman said: “Anyone interested in joining the mayor in aid of a good cause is encouraged to book their tickets soon.

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“The mayor is also looking for generous people, organisations or businesses that may be able to help with prizes for the auction.”

Mayor Palmer said: “The lady chapel is a stunning backdrop for what should be a hugely enjoyable night of fine food, good music and enjoyable company.

“We’ve got a fun schedule lined up for the night and I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible for this very worthy cause.

“I’m appealing to those in the community who can help me make this both a sell-out event and a memorable night.”

PTSD999 offers support and guidance for blue light workers all over the UK who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress which can be triggered by an isolated, distressing case, or repeated exposure to harrowing and affecting experiences. PTSD can cost jobs, ruin lives and, in some cases, can lead to suicide.

The auction of promises will see the guests bidding on a selection of exclusive prizes, all with the goal of boosting the fundraising total for PTSD999.

Charity co-founder Gary Hayes was a former soldier and police officer who lost his job due to PTSD triggered by his experiences following the July 7 bombings in London.

Gary’s personal story instigated the founding of the charity with Simon, who himself suffered from PTSD following his experiences as a soldier where he served in locations including the Balkans and Northern Ireland.

Gary said: “PTSD999 is humbled to have support from the Mayor of Cambridge and Peterborough.

“We had asked James if he would open our new office and drop in centre last year.

“He said yes and spent several hours with us leaning more about what we do and how our emergency services see and deal with more traumatic situations than our armed forces and unfortunately have nothing tangible in place to deal with post-traumatic stress.

“In January James asked if he could support the emergency services again by raising awareness of the amazing work our emergency services do by holding his inaugural ball in support of PTSD999.

“PTSD999 is the only organisation in the UK that supports all emergency services, both serving and retired suffering the effects of mental trauma, we are currently treating retired personnel who dealt with Lockerbie bombing all the way through to the terrorist attacks of last year and Grenfell.”

Mayor Palmer said: “I had met Simon during my mayoral campaign and I was hugely impressed by his energy and all that he was doing with PTSD999 to help in a hugely important area.

“We rightly praise our emergency services for their tireless work and bravery, but what perhaps doesn’t get the attention it deserves are the after-effects on those personnel of being in life-or-death and distressing situations.

“PTSD999 not only supports our valued emergency services workers, but also campaigns to put the effects of PTSD out into the public eye and open up the conversation.

“Mental health has so many impacts - personal, societal and economic - so I’m delighted to make this cause the first to be supported in what will hopefully be a successful night.”

If you would like to put forward a prize for the auction, please email Julia Pettit:

For tickets, please download and complete the booking form and send to

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