TWO charities have received more than £3,500 each thanks to an Echo-backed business event.

The Daily Echo and SPA (Southampton Property Association) charity dinner dance attracted 200 guests from the industry including solicitors, property developers, surveyors and other professionals.

The event held at St Mary’s Stadium featured a three-course meal was enjoyed followed by an auction and raffle.

Auction lots included a helicopter flight, a week in an apartment in Tenerife and a radio station tour.

A total of £7,346.50 was raised to be shared between NewstrAid and Smile4Wessex.

Smile4Wessex supports the Wessex Neurological Centre, based at Southampton General Hospital.

Neil Westbrook, Smile4Wessex appeals director, said: " “It was my great privilege to attend the SPA/Southern Daily Echo Ball and we’re hugely grateful to all who contributed to such an enjoyable and successful evening.

"This very generous donation will benefit the Smile4Wessex Plasma Therapy Appeal, helping to fund the acquisition of technologically advanced plasma exchange equipment for the treatment of critically-ill patients suffering from life-threatening neurological disease.

“In addition, the new equipment will enable the Wessex Neurological Centre to establish a dedicated plasma therapy unit where clinicians can treat day-case patients from across the region who are living with a range of long-term neurological conditions that are individually rare, but collectively common."

NewstrAid is a registered charity which was founded by Charles Dickens 1839 to give assistance to poor newsvendors.

These days it gives support to all those in need in the national and local newspaper distribution and retail industry and brings the “news” to the reader.

Mark Bowker, chairman of NewstrAid,said: "Huge thanks for allowing us to attend the SPA/Southern Daily Echo Gala Ball and to all that contributed to raising this superb amount.

"The local committee is called “Wessex” and consists of 16 members. In addition to raising funds we make regular visits to beneficiaries to deliver benefits and offer assistance with any problems they may have."