BBC Breakfast’s Sally Nugent hosted The Prince’s Trust and Lexus Leeds 40th Anniversary Fashion Dinner right here at Bowcliffe, raising £103,000 for the UK’s leading youth charity and its work supporting disadvantaged young people.
The sold out event remains one of the region’s largest fundraisers for The Trust, raising more than £400,000 since it began seven years ago – a quarter of which was raised this year at the Bowcliffe Hall event! All funds go towards supporting unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence they need to move into work, education or training.
Following a drinks reception held across Bowcliffe’s superb Ballroom, the Bowcliffe Room and the sumptuous Drivers’ Club, guests made their way to a bespoke marquee on the beautiful Bowcliffe estate. The evening, supported by Lexus Leeds and Vantage Motor Group, featured a unique opportunity to view an exclusive collection from acclaimed designer Amanda Wakeley and a chance to bid on a private shopping experience in the designer’s Mayfair boutique. Ogden of Harrogate also donated an exclusive £6,000 Yorkshire Rose 31-diamond pendant to the evening’s Diamond Draw – won by the delighted Jeff Clark (below).
Bowcliffe Hall custodian and entrepreneur, Jonathan Turner, took to the stage and worked the crowd into a frenzy in a bid to sell as many bottles of Champagne as possible in the shortest possible time. Determined to beat the Manchester charity auction – which sold 25 bottles in six minutes – Jonathan managed to help raise more cash for The Prince’s Trust, whilst also thrashing Manchester by selling 25 bottles in just two minutes 22 seconds!
As well as the runway show, guests at the 40th Anniversary Fashion Dinner were also treated to a champagne reception – sponsored by Laurent Perrier – and an auction of luxury goods and experiences including VIP tickets to the X Factor Live Final, a luxury holiday to the Four Seasons Resort in Mauritius and a tour of BBC Breakfast with host Sally Nugent.
The indulgent three-course meal was a spectacle in itself, designed by Bowcliffe’s executive chef, John Topham. Starters of little moneybags – a treasure of seafood in crisp Fleur de Brick pastry and lobster sauce – and Ewe’s cheese soufflé with a plum jelly and golden raisin puree were followed by a choice of main course; a slowly braised shoulder of Yorkshire Dales Lamb roast rack and hot pot potatoes or wild mushroom risotto with parmesan crisps, pea shoots and truffle oil. To finish, guests enjoyed a lemon posset with wild strawberry ice cream, meringue, raspberries and blueberries.
Guests also heard from Dominic Loftus, 17, a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust who shared his experiences with the audience describing how, with help from The Trust he managed to turn his life around.
Sally Nugent said: “It’s been an honour to host this event, particularly in light of The Trust’s very special 40th year. It was wonderful to see so many guests taking part to raise funds supporting the youth charity continue its vital work across the region.”
Mark Robinson, Managing Director of Vantage Motor Group said: “Through our partnership, we’ve witnessed first-hand just how meaningful the work of The Prince’s Trust can be in supporting young people create a better future for themselves. As a group, we are very proud to be able to support that work including by sponsoring such fundraising events as this one.”
Each year the youth charity supports around 4,000 young people across Yorkshire and the Humber alone, with three in four of those young people moving into work, education or training, helping to build their self-esteem and break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
The Prince’s Trust has supported 825,000 young people in the last 40 years and this year it will support over 100 more each day.