Travel agency Worldwide Travel Solutions has organised a charity ball to raise funds for Caribbean Islands devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria last year.

The Leeds-based Caribbean specialist decided to hold the fundraising ball, which takes place this Friday, because it has many clients whose families and relatives were personally affected by the hurricanes.

The High Commissioner of Dominica, Janet Charles, is due to attend the event this Friday.

Owner Sharon May has sold 120 tickets and is hoping to raise several thousand pounds for the Caribbean Relief Fund.

She said: “My agency specialises in holidays and flights to the Caribbean and many of my local customers have been personally affected with their relatives and family members still unable to return to a normal way of life with many still without clean water or electricity after five months. There are people still living in shelters.

“There is a very large Caribbean community in Leeds, so I decided to try to raise much needed funds for the relief effort.”

She added: “The Caribbean is known for its music, laughter and close-knit communities so the idea of a charity ball made absolute sense.”

Prizes on offer include a pair of flights to the Caribbean courtesy of Thomas Cook Airlines. Lounge Pass, Silversea Cruises and Elite Island Resorts are also giving raffle prizes.

The event is at the Marriott Hotel in Leeds and includes a three-course Caribbean themed dinner, entertainment from DJ Sensation and a Calypso band.

May, who plans further fundraising events, said it was important holidaymakers continued to travel to the Caribbean, which is heavily reliant on tourism.

She added that she could not have organised the event without the help of marketing and business support agency 3FOR’s director Mandy Davis.

“I am so grateful for her tenacity and professionalism in making this event happen from online ticket sales, menus, pop ups, artwork, assisting with auction prizes, and liaising with the venue,” she said.