Gala event at the palace in aid of Sunbeams

Date: Tuesday 1st August 2017
Helping celebrate the Sunbeams Music Trust’s 25th anniversary (left to right) are supporters Michael Collins, Tina Hugo-Ridge, Vanessa Strutt (centre co-ordinator) and Annie Mawson.
Helping celebrate the Sunbeams Music Trust’s 25th anniversary (left to right) are supporters Michael Collins, Tina Hugo-Ridge, Vanessa Strutt (centre co-ordinator) and Annie Mawson.

PENRITH-based Sunbeams Music Trust will be celebrating its 25th anniversary with a gala dinner at Kensington Palace, London, in September.

It will be the third gala dinner for the charity which has a special interest in music therapy. It is hoped that £100,000 will be raised at the event on 20th September — the last gala event brought in £120,000. Out of the 100 tickets, there are still 10 places remaining.

On arrival, guests will be offered champagne and canapés in the King’s Drawing Room before performances from O Duo, musicians who have appeared twice at the BBC Proms.

Next will be the four-course show-stopper menu, which has been described by Annie Mawson, founder and chief executive of Sunbeams, as a “unique dining experience”. It will be provided by Bubble Food, a food design management company.

Michael Collins, who is originally from West Cumbria, is the founder and managing director of the company. He was on Channel 4’s The World’s Most Expensive Food and wants to create a personal experience for each diner.

Mr. Collins said he has kept connections with his home county and wants to support the charity whenever possible. “It’s quite rewarding. It feels really good to be part of it and supporting Annie and this charity,” he said.

There will then be a charity auction, hosted by Lord Jeffrey Archer, who has been a supporter of the charity for some time. Lots at this year’s event include a lino-cut signed by Picasso, a tour of M-Sport in Cockermouth and a weekend package at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Windermere.

Annie said: “We are overjoyed and very, very honoured because not everybody gets in to use Kensington Palace,” she said and added that they had to apply to use it. On the day of the gala dinner, they will have exclusive use.

“We have about 50 Cumbrians going (to the gala dinner) and we cannot thank them enough. They are so lovely and supportive. They will never let us down,” said Annie.

All of the gala dinners have been held in London as Annie wants to raise the profile of the Cumbrian charity as it expands. She also wants to educate on the care it provides, which ranges from babies to those aged over 100.

Tina Hugo-Ridge, who runs interior design company Hugo Ridge Interiors and Luxury Lifestyle, is also originally from West Cumbria. She has given her support to the cause by sponsoring the event. For more information, visit www.sunbeamsmusic.org.