The Firecracker Ball

In 2019, the event raised


to help Barnardo’s reach out to vulnerable children.

29 October 2015

Local artist fulfils one of her ambition to use her talents to help charitable causes

Local artist fulfils one of her ambition to use her talents to help charitable causes
Bradford-born artist, Felicia Charles, is using her artistic talents to design five exclusive T-shirt designs with the profits being given to Barnardo’s.

Ever since she began her career as a self-taught artist and interior designer in 1999 she has been looking at ways to channel her work into helping charities. However as her workload grew, with popularity and demand for her art increasing, she found it difficult to find the time to explore ways to support charitable organisations.

However, a chance meeting with Leeds businessman Phil Taylor at one of her exhibitions provided the answer. Phil was so impressed with Felicia’s work that he bought one of her paintings and when the two started talking, she mentioned her desire to devote part of her time to help good causes.

Phil explained that he is the chairman of the Firecracker Ball, which holds its annual charity event at Rudding Park every November. It is one of the highlights on the social calendar with around 750 people attending the glittering event which raised more than £200,000 last year for Barnardo’s.

When she discussed the not for profit clothing brand she had been developing called ‘Broken Pieces into Masterpieces’ (BPM) and the T-shirts she wanted to create for charities close to her heart, Phil said it would be fantastic if she was able to design a series of T-shirts which could be sold at the Ball. This could also help to create a dialogue with Barnardo’s to enable Felicia to continue her work with the UK’s largest children’s charity after the ball.

Phil has also commissioned Felicia to create five works of art that will be unveiled and auctioned at the Firecracker Ball on Saturday 14 November.

The theme for the T-shirts and paintings will be based on the five key areas of Barnardo’s, namely; fostering & adoption, young carers, sexual exploitation, child poverty and domestic violence. All the designs will deliver a message of hope and freedom with a key message of inspiration.

Speaking about the opportunity, Felicia said, “It was great to meet Phil as he was able to give me such a fantastic opportunity to fulfil one of my ambitions and something I’ve wanted to get underway for years.

“The Firecracker Ball has raised £1.7m for Barnardo’s under Phil’s chairmanship and the plans are to try and reach the £2m mark this year. If my designs and artwork help in some way to reach that impressive figure, I would be absolutely delighted.”

Phil Taylor added,“I was really impressed with Felicia’s work and when she told me about her charitable ambitions it was a perfect fit. I am delighted that she has agreed to work with the Firecracker Ball and I am certain that her T-shirts and paintings will make an extremely valuable contribution, as we aim to reach our fundraising target.”

Further information about the Firecracker Ball is available at

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