Fundraising events round-up: thank you to all our amazing St Christopher’s volunteers and supporters

So much has happened to tell you about since our last edition of Connections. Whether a fundraising event is large or small, we appreciate every single penny that you raise towards helping us provide our end of life care – thank you! Here are some highlights to enjoy

Our Classic Car Show was the biggest and best year yet

Over 4,000 visitors enjoyed the sunshine on Sunday 20 September to admire the wonderful assortment of vehicles at our Classic Car Show at Tripes Farm, Orpington.

With a maximum capacity of 450 pre-war and post-war vehicles on display, it was for amateur and serious car enthusiasts alike – ranging from gleaming sports cars, luxury American saloon cars, classic and modified cars, through to motorbikes and public buses. Plenty more were parked in the car park, as more owners applied to take part than we could accommodate.

The day featured a succession of displays from car clubs across London and the south east. There was a wide selection of refreshment stalls, and other stalls sold local farm fruit and vegetables, gifts and raffle tickets. Children’s entertainment included a ride-on jeep arena for children and a popular bouncy castle assault course. Visitor numbers were higher than before which helped raise over £20,000 – the best year yet.

Special thanks to Orpington Crofton, Langley Park and Beckenham Rotary Clubs, Bromley Volunteer Police Cadets, 101 Penge Army Cadet Unit, Gap Group Hire Solutions, Nationwide Building Society and all our fantastic volunteers such as Chris Pecover, Keith Heard and Brian Yells.

Keston Park’s champagne and music raises £41,000

On Friday 11 September 2015 a champagne reception and charity auction took place in a superb Keston Park garden, kindly donated for the weekend by Mr and Mrs Woodman.

Some of our most energetic supporters came together to fundraise for us at the auction on Friday and a music event on Saturday, collectively raising over £41,000.

The success of the evening was partly due to the amazing auction prizes, including a cricket bat signed by the winning English Ashes Team (raising £2,500), a framed Yellow Tour de France Winner’s Jersey signed by two-time winner Chris Froome (raising £1,000) a football signed by the members of the First Team Chelsea Squad, donated by the Chelsea Foundation and lunch with Karen Millen. Thanks to Darren Williams for helping to secure excellent prizes and his expert running of the auction. A silent auction featured a framed signed pair of Jennifer Lopez’s shorts and a tennis racquet signed by Boris Becker, donated by Barclays Bank Plc.

Singer Peter Snipp wowed the 300-strong audience and Nigel Humphriss was an excellent compere. As a grand finale, Peter was joined by operatic singing waiters and everyone enjoyed dancing at the end of the evening.

On Saturday 12 September, Bob Drury’s Neil Diamond Experience gave us a fantastic night of fun, entertaining 300 supporters with the opportunity to sing along and dance. Sponsors included Higgs Butchers for the BBQ and Laithwaites for the drinks.

The whole weekend’s sponsors included: Alan De Maid, Barclays, Benwood Electical, Bridge Security Group, Bushby Heating, Chambers Furniture, Coolings, ECS Security, Freelands Plumbing, Hillman, Pangua Bikes, PAYE Homes, Pure Lake Group, Ravensbourne Property Services, Skillcrown Homes, Streetley Properties and The Marketing Practice.

Midnight Walk was a party in PJs and raised £24,000

On Saturday 10 October the streets of south east London became a mass of pyjamas and onesies as over 300 walkers took part in our Midnight Walk, raising more than £24,000 collectively.

After an energetic warm-up at the hospice the walkers set off on the five mile circular route. Over half were walking in memory of a loved one, which created a warm and friendly community atmosphere. Like many of the walkers, Lucy (pictured opposite) had a personal reason for taking part after her best friend’s dad was cared for at the hospice. She, along with 13 friends in Team Foxy, walked in memory of Brian Reilly.

We would like to thank everyone involved, particularly sponsors Lewisham Homes, Mediterranea for their delicious pizza and wine stop sponsored by Gibson Chartered Accountants, and our incredible volunteers. Thanks also to our corporate teams – Marks & Spencer Bromley, the Chatterton Arms pub and estate agents Alan De Maid.

Over the last six years, the Midnight Walk has raised over £175,000 in total for our Candle Child Bereavement Service.

Christmas Market and Festival

In November and December we held our Christmas Market at Caritas House and Christmas Festival at St Christopher’s, Sydenham.

We are very grateful to Alan de Maid for sponsoring the Christmas Market and for donating lots of chocolate items for the popular chocolate tombola they ran for us on the day. We also had a team from SGN Gas helping with all the preparations for the Christmas Market the day before and they did an amazing job with getting everything ready!

The Christmas Festival was made extra special by SetWorks who created a magical Santa’s Grotto. Thanks also to Maria and the team for helping set up and clearing away, and volunteers from Christ Embassy for their assistance at the end of the day. We are also very grateful to the talented PopGems Academy for braving the elements with their dazzling performance.

Thank you to all involved with both events: those who donated or made goods; people who came for their Christmas shopping; the volunteers who helped run the stalls; all the stall holders who pay a pitch fee and give a percentage of earnings; and the entertainers for their performances. Together we raised a fabulous £12,500 towards our end of life care.

 2016 will see us merging these events and alternating between Orpington and Sydenham annually, so we can put our effort into one big Christmas extravaganza.

Carol singing for shoppers and commuters

Thank you to all the carol singers who came along to entertain shoppers at Intu Centre in Bromley, Whitgift Centre in Croydon and Lewisham Shopping Centre.

Also thanks to Petts Wood Operatic with their beautiful choral tunes which delighted commuters at Orpington Train Station.

Petts Wood 10k

Consistently voted as one of the UK’s best 10k events, popular with runners from far and wide, the Petts Wood 10k on Sunday 11 October was another huge success.

The organisers, Petts Wood Running Club, have supported St Christopher’s since the event started in 2006. A team of our volunteers helped on the day selling refreshments to all, as well as running the children’s bouncy castle. Afterwards the club made a very generous donation of £5,000 – bringing the total for the day to over £6,000. The grand total over the last nine years is an amazing £43,000. We look forward to celebrating its tenth anniversary on Sunday 9 October 2016.

The St Christopher’s Dinner at Goldsmiths’ Hall

The annual St Christopher’s private client and charity lawyer dinner took place on Wednesday 18 November in the magical setting of Goldsmiths’ Hall.

This glittering annual event has raised over £2m for us since it started back in 2000. This year Charles Moore, authorised biographer of Margaret Thatcher, delivered a fascinating after dinner speech and music was kindly provided by The English Concert.

Annual Christmas visit from HRH Princess Alexandra

We were once again delighted to welcome our patron HRH Princess Alexandra who visits the hospice each year to speak with patients, volunteers, supporters and staff.

An afternoon tea was served in her honour and this year we enjoyed carols by students from Forest Hill School.