Hundreds of dinner guests contributed to a major fundraising gala in Bradford at the weekend to rebuild the broken lives of earthquake orphans in Pakistan and fund vital services for the terminally ill.

The Caring Bradford fundraising gala, held at the Hilton Hotel in Bradford, was backed by businessmen, community leaders and the wider public.

The initiative is chaired by the Telegraph & Argus editor Perry Austin-Clarke, and was set up alongside Bradford MPs Gerry Sutcliffe and Marsha Singh, and restaurateur Omar Khan.

Two charities, Marie Curie Cancer Care and the Kashmir Orphans Relief Trust (Kort) were the chosen beneficiaries of the event which was attended by two special guests from Pakistan, Barrister Sultan Mahmood, the former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir, and Fiaz Ali Abbassi, secretary of civil defence, information and tourism of Azas Kashmir. International charity, Kort, was launched in October 2005 in response to the thousands of children orphaned by the earthquake in Kashmir days earlier which claimed more than 75,000 lives. Its impact, raising money for emergency aid, was immediate.

Four years on, and with the support of money raised through Caring Bradford, the charity aims to construct an educational complex for orphans in South Asia. Building work has already started on the £2 million venture which will provide 1,000 children with living accommodation, a school, library, canteen, hospital, mosque and sports facilities.

Charity founder Mohammed Akhtar, who left his takeaway chain Rajas in Bradford and relocated with his family to Mirpur to help earthquake orphans, said: “The complex is going to make a world of difference. There isn’t such a thing in the whole of Pakistan. For so long these orphans have been neglected and there’s a lot of talented, beautiful children who deserve just as much as our own.”

The Telegraph & Argus South Asia Earthquake Appeal, launched shortly after the disaster in Kashmir, raised £90,000 through the help of our readers and helped fund a new hospital.

Mr Austin-Clarke said: “One of the best things about living in Bradford is being able to tell other people about the generosity, the warmth of heart and the simple humanity of Bradfordians when it comes to helping others in need. In launching Caring Bradford, we wanted to tap into that amazing resource to help ensure that more people could benefit.”

Mr Khan, who owns an Indian restaurant under his name in Little Horton Lane, and Bradford South MP, Mr Sutcliffe, both spoke passionately about the care their mothers had received at Bradford’s Marie Curie hospice in Maudsley Street. It provides free care to more than 1,200 patients a year at a cost of more than £4 million a year.

Brian Curran, the charity’s area fundraising manager, aid: “So many people have come to support these very worthwhile causes and I hope that from tonight, people will be inspired to help even more.”

e-mail: ben.barnett