SAVE the Children’s annual Winter Gala returned with guests spotted walking along the Yellow Brick Road into the Emerald City at London’s Guildhall for a Wonderful Wizard of Oz-themed night of festivities.
The gala was hosted by radio and TV presenter Lauren Laverne and attended by more than 270 guests including Save the Children supporters and ambassadors such as Poppy Delevingne, Dom Joly, Misan Harriman, Erin O’Connor, Ashley Jensen and DJ Cuppy. The night raised more than £700,000 for the charity through sponsorship, table sales, pledges, and the sale of some truly unique silent auction items, including a signed guitar from Ed Sheeran.
As attendees arrived, they walked through Dorothy’s upside-down house and into ‘Munchkinland’ in the crypts of the Guildhall for a drink reception, before following the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City of the Great Hall for the evening’s fundraising and entertainment.
The night celebrated a line-up of performers and speakers including Save the Children’s CEO Gwen Hines and ambassadors Misan Harriman and Poppy Delevingne.
Poppy Delevingne galvanised the room with an emotive pledge moment as she talked about her recent visit to Save the Children’s programmes in Türkiye where she met with children and families affected by the devastating earthquake in February earlier year.
Alongside Poppy was activist and world-renowned photographer Misan Harriman who spoke passionately about his visit to Somaliland where he met with families impacted by malnutrition.
Misan Harriman said:
“Last year I travelled to the southern town of Burao in Somaliland to bear witness to the hunger crisis and its impact on children and families. As a Black African photographer, I wanted to lend my voice – and my lens – to raise awareness of what was, and still is, a vastly under-reported tragedy unfolding across the continent, as well as the world. Despite the stark realities of what I saw, I was deeply moved having had the opportunity to see the impact Save the Children can have on communities impacted by malnutrition. I know the money raised tonight will make a difference for those in the furthest to reach places – not only in Somaliland but right around the world.”
Winter Gala Committee Co-chair Poppy Delevingne said:
“I’m so proud to have been part of such an amazing event for Save the Children and that we’ve managed to raise so much in just one evening! A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of seeing the work that Save the Children does to support children in southern Türkiye so I know first-hand that the funds raised will go directly to those most in need.
“The scale of destruction and displacement caused after the earthquakes earlier this year was truly overwhelming. I met families who had lost everything – their loved ones, their homes, all their belongings. But what struck me the most was the resilience of the children I met who had benefitted from Save the Children’s psychosocial support. This work to build up children’s mental health both in Türkiye and around the world is so important to help young people who have experienced the worst of times. As these children – and others – face an ever-changing world, we need to ensure their futures are protected.”
Host Lauren Laverne said:
“It was a privilege to host Save the Children’s Winter Gala for 2023. It’s such an important event which raises much-needed funds for children all over the world. With so much uncertainty in the world, being able to come together to hear and learn about the incredible work Save the Children does to support young people in unimaginable circumstances was both inspirational and uplifting.”
The evening boasted a silent auction of one-off prizes including an Ed Sheeran signed guitar, a limited-edition print signed by Anish Kapoor, a trip on the Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for two and a pair of Ruby Slippers signed by Christian Louboutin. Guests unable to attend the event were also able to bid remotely.
All the money raised on the night will help some of the most disadvantaged children and families across the globe get the chance of a future they deserve. From the UK to Ethiopia, Save the Children exists to make sure children stay safe, healthy and learning.