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Paralympian Stef Reid and DJ Ed James launch Birmingham’s sparkling event of the year at The Grand Hotel

Paralympian and Dancing on Ice star Stef Reid and Heart FM’s Ed James braved yesterday's heat to launch Birmingham's social event of the year, a shimmering Winter Ball.

The pair met at the Grand Hotel where Stef spoke of her vision to see people living with disabilities globally given the opportunity to shine.

The jewel in Birmingham’s crown is the venue for the glittering event on Saturday 8 October 2022. Both Stef and Ed are freely giving their time to make this elegant and inaugural occasion like no other and have a lasting legacy.

Leprosy is one of the world's leading causes of preventable disability and Stef told a crowd at the Grand Hotel of a visit she made to a leprosy hospital in Nepal.

Stef, a Paralympic long jumper and sprinter, lost her leg in a boating accident aged 15. She chose to become Vice President of The Leprosy Mission at the time of the Tokyo Games.

She said: “For a while I would go up and down the country to different schools and I would tell the kids you can do and be anything that you put your mind to. But I realised a few years ago, when I visited Anandaban Hospital in Nepal, that this isn’t entirely true. No amount of smiling and having a good attitude is going to grow a limb or give you mobility.

“I’m very lucky in that I have woken up every day of my life after my amputation fully believing there’s nothing I can’t do. That is because I have a set of six amazing legs in my closet. That is what I want for every single person in the world. That is what I want for every person who has lost a limb as a result of leprosy. Because that is the way you can continue to live your life as you wanted to."

Tickets for the Winter Ball cost £130 and are selling fast. The ticket price not only includes a Champagne reception and a three-course meal, including wine, but a donation of £24 to The Leprosy Mission’s work. This will cure one person of leprosy, bringing hope and healing to a person’s life.

Book your tickets for the ball today