Local businesses and supporters of Stevenage Community Trust came together for this year’s extraordinary Annual Black Tie Dinner and Dance at The Priory in Little Wymondley.
As guests were seated having enjoyed champagne, courtesy of the Wine Society, Chair of the Trust, Rob Stewart founder of Stevenage Packaging surprised them with the stirring entrance of one the nations most loved sons - Frank Bruno MBE.
Frank provided an honest, moving, inspirational, humorous and thought-provoking insight into his life as he was interviewed by Rob and was then presented with a special birthday cake followed by a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.
Rob said afterwards, “I have never seen 170 people stand up in unison when someone walks in the room and deliver such unconditional love and admiration for one person, truly incredible. Frank was fantastic and created an evening of fun and celebration.”
Suzy Moody from HomeStart presented a ‘thank you’ of a Framed Route to Simon Galbraith of Redgate Software for his incredible bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats that has raised an unbelievable £55,280.75 for Stevenage Community Trust. The money will be used to provide a grant to Home-Start Hertfordshire to enable them to completely clear the waiting list of Stevenage families needing support.
There were some amazing lots up for auction including a day cruising on the Solent aboard a fully staffed yacht courtesy of Adrian and Jennie Hawkins from Weldability SIF, a week’s stay at a luxury villa in Majorca thanks to Simon and Pam Galbraith of Redgate Software, tickets to join Ken and Barbara Follett in their private box at Glyndebourne - one of the greatest opera houses in the world, a day at Stevenage FC with matchday hospitality, a vintage Rolls Royce and E Type Jaguar for day thanks to Wallis and Sons, an England Rugby Shirt signed by the team who beat the All Blacks, courtesy of James Sinclair of Finborough School and an exclusive four course dinner at The Wine Society, accompanied by a selection of fine wines to name but a few.
The sole purpose of the event was to raise additional funds for local individuals, organisations and small charities in need. Sue Barnes from Tilehouse Counselling spoke about how their grant of £2480 from Stevenage Community Trust had enabled this fantastic organisation to offer brief, focused counselling in a safe, confidential space for young people aged 13-19 in Stevenage.
To end the evening the trusts President Ken Follett and his band, ClogIron, put on a spectacular performance which had the guests dancing until the early hours.
The Trust thanked it's main event sponsors of which we're proud to be one, working alongside Ken and Barbara Follett, The Wine Society, HRJ Foreman Laws, Wagstaff’s Chartered Accountants, Own Homes and John Hope.
This year’s outstanding event raised an incredible £35,156, surpassing all previous fundraising from this Annual Dinner and Dance, even beating last year’s previous record total.
2020 is the Stevenage Community Trusts 30th anniversary year and to celebrate the aim is to raise more money than ever before. Enabling the Trust to give out an unprecedented number of grants in Stevenage and the surrounding area.
These amazing achievements over the last three decades have only been possible thanks to the wonderful support we receive from generous individuals and local businesses who see the difference The Stevenage Community Trust makes to the lives of those less fortunate.