Our ball kicked off with a sparkling drinks reception before Chemmy and Graham took to the stage to welcome guests. Our Founder and Director, Dan Charlish picked up the mic next to talk about the impact and growth of our work over the last 15 years before playing a short video from our regional staff and apprentices.
The wonderful catering company Party Ingredients served up some delicious starters and Chemmy and Graham had the room in fits of laughter with a game of heads and tails. Our favourite question from the game was: “The legend Dan Charlish, the reason Switch180 exists, once earnt a few extra pounds as an extra playing a Greek God alongside Eddie Izard. True or false?” Do you think it’s true or false?!
Huge congratulations to the winner! We hope you enjoy the bottle of fizz and the Ellis Brigham vouchers!
Next up were the mains followed by a moving speech from Dan. He mentioned some of the challenges we face as an organisation including seeing a profound reduction in services and funding for young people over the last few years. Only 1% of our funding comes from government sources. Dan spoke passionately about why Switch180 is needed and thanked guests for all they have done to help us get to where we are today.
Is there a better way to end a meal than with a bitter chocolate and salt caramel viennetta? Well, guests received a second treat when our Patron and Olympic Bronze Medallist Jenny Jones joined Chemmy and Graham on stage. Jenny spoke about why she supports Switch180 and she introduced several of our young people to the stage.
We often talk about the difference we make to the lives of young people across the country, but who better to talk about our impact than the young people we’re working with every day. Laquan, Zulekha, Uche, Ellie and Amina gave passionate talks to a captivated crowd. Just look at the standing ovation!
It was also fantastic to hear from Snow-Camp Patron Warren Smith. Last year Warren provided our young person, Laquan with a once in a life time opportunity to join his prestigious ski academy in Verbier. During the ball Warren gave a passionate speech about why he supports Switch180.
The dynamic auctioneer Martin Pope kicked off our live auction with several unique, money can’t buy experiences including a day SUPing with Chemmy, a week on a ski clinic with the Warren Smith Ski Academy, a PT session with Emily Sarsfield and a week at Jenny Jones’ snowboarding workshop with a night out with Jenny included! We also had a “Life Changer” lot where guests were able to provide fully funded places for young people on our programme Snow Camp.
We’re incredibly pleased to reveal that our ball raised over £50,000! A huge thank you to everyone who generously bought an auction item or donated throughout the evening. Your support will make a big difference to many young lives.
Next the floor was cleared, and a danced floor was made as The Dominos rocked the stage with several après ski classics. What a wonderful end to the evening.
We had the most amazing evening and we are so grateful to have such a wonderful community behind us. We have a few special “thank yous” to make so here goes…
THANK YOU to everyone that attended. We had a fantastic time celebrating our 15th birthday with you. Collectively you raised over £50,000 for Switch180!
THANK YOU to our amazing Patrons and Ambassadors who helped to make the evening so special, Emily Sarsfield, Warren Smith, Jenny Jones, Jack Gower, Dougie Crawford and last but not least our incredible hosts for the evening Graham Bell and Chemmy Alcott.
THANK YOU to all the evening’s sponsors and to every organisation and individual who donated an auction item.
THANK YOU to Martin Pope, Party Ingredients, Givergy and all the wonderful staff at St Lukes.
We can’t wait to celebrate our 20th birthday with you in 2023! Onwards and upwards.