AFTER enjoying an August bank holiday weekend at the pub with friends, Melanie Wellings' 48-year-old brother Adrian collapsed and died of a heart attack as he walked back to his home in Nympsfield.

Eleven years after Adrian's premature death, Melanie is still struggling to come to terms with the loss of her brother.

But the decision to organise a Charity Valentine's Ball in his memory has given her a renewed focus and sense of purpose.

"My brother died at a young age and I have also had friends who have gone recently as a result of heart conditions," said Melanie, 51.  

"I didn't feel I was in a good place but organising this event has given me the focus in life I really needed.

"The idea of a charity ball came after a quick chat with friends and I didn't have to think twice about doing it for the British Heart Foundation."

Now working as an accounts manager, Melanie grew up with Adrian and her three other siblings at the family home in Coaley, where their mother still lives.

A single-mum, she has since moved to King's Stanley and has an 18-year-old son.

Four years ago, her father also died after suffering heart problems.

"I miss my father and my brother terribly," she said.

"When my brother died it was so sudden, he was younger than I am now, and I have been thinking for a long time that I needed to do something to raise money for the BHF."

Already a member at Frocester Cricket Club, Melanie decided it would be the perfect venue for the ball and a friend who owns a marquee business has agreed to lend a helping hand with the arrangements.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 16 and those in attendance will be treated to a three-course dinner and live music.

Melanie is hoping local celebrities and sports people will get on board to support it and she is asking local businesses to donate prizes for the raffle.

Around 220 people have already booked places, but with the venue able to cater for up to 500, there are still plenty of tables available.

A table of 10 costs £45 per head and Melanie is aiming to raise £5,000 in total for charity.

To book or donate a prize for the auction, call 07764 261761 or email