9 November 2007: Speaking at our sixth Benefit Dinner last night, the Prime Minister praised SHINE’s work, particularly our willingness to back innovative new projects and the rigorous approach that we take to the programmes we fund. He also commended SHINE’s involvement as a founder partner of ‘Every Child A Reader’ which, after a three year pilot programme, is now being rolled out across the country.
Held at the Natural History Museum in London, SHINE’s trustees and staff welcomed nearly 500 supporters to our sixth Benefit Dinner. In total, the event raised a net total of well over £1.1 million, money which will be used over the coming year to fund SHINE’s work helping disadvantaged children improve their academic performance.
After hearing the Prime Minister speak, guests listened to Sarah Brown, a SHINE Patron, explain why she supports SHINE’s work and introduce the evening’s auction. This gave guests the opportunity to pledge money towards four SHINE-funded projects and then bid for two remarkable auction lots.
The first of the two auction lots offered guests the chance to watch an England match at Wembley from the comfort of a private box, along with members of the BBC’s Match of the Day team. The second gave SHINE’s supporters the opportunity to have dinner with Al Gore, the former Vice-President and Nobel Laureate, as well as Michelin-starred chef Ruth Rogers and her husband, the Stirling Prize winning architect, Lord Rogers of Riverside, at their London home.
After the auction, guests were treated to an intimate concert by Mick Hucknall, a SHINE supporter who performed on the night for free.
After being introduced by Sir Alex Ferguson, a SHINE Patron, Mick Hucknall performed a number of his greatest hits. He said afterwards, “SHINE does fantastic work making a real and lasting difference to the life-chances of disadvantaged children – not just in London, but in my home town of Manchester as well. I am delighted to be able to support them tonight.”
Jim O’Neill, SHINE’s Chairman, said “I am thrilled that the evening was such a success. I am very grateful to all those who attended for their incredible generosity. Thanks to them, SHINE will be able to expand the numbers of projects it funds, and the number of children it helps. Children everywhere deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. Thanks to this event and the phenomenal generosity shown by SHINE’s supporters this evening, we can now continue with our real work of helping them do just that.”