My experience of Angelman meet-ups usually involves snatching a couple of sentences with another parent or carer in passing, before having to dash off and rescue Woody from whatever chaos he is currently causing. This usually happens whilst I am covered in his dribble, the remains of his last meal and sporting a hairstyle that can only be achieved by having your hair grabbed and stuffed in his mouth while he has you in a full headlock. So it was lovely to see so many familiar and new (to me, at any rate) faces at the AngelmanUK 25th Anniversary Ball all scrubbed and polished in black tie attire and actually have a chance at some real conversation!

Guests, including members of AngelmanUK, their friends and families, professionals who have worked with us over the years, and a couple of adult individuals with Angelman themselves, were greeted with a drinks reception followed by a three course meal.

Speeches were started by Jonathan Allen, the current (but sadly departing) trustee for sibling support, followed by Sally Walburn, former Chair of AngelmanUK (ASSERT as it was then). The concluding speaker was the founder of the charity, Richard Allen, bringing us full circle as he is Jonathan’s father.

Following their storming performance at the Liverpool gala three years ago, the brilliant Sunshine Soul Revue (now officially self-styled as the Angelman band (Charles XX the keyboard player, has a son with AS) provided the music for dancing again. Jonathan and I competed for being the first on the dance floor, but were beaten to it by Laura.

The casino tables saw some intense action and the competition for the ultimate prize of a bottle of champagne was fierce. With prizes including a beautiful quilt hand-made by the niece of Harry Angelman (Yvonne xxx), dinner for two at the Shard, a week’s caravan holiday, tickets for Phantom of the Opera, a signed Liverpool football shirt, a rugby shirt signed by the entire 2015 Welsh Rugby world cup team and many others, the silent auction also attracted some hot bidding right to the end of the evening.

In all, a really brilliant night and I can’t wait for the next one.

Andrea Baines