Birmingham-based Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) raised £100,000 at a Celebrity Chef Gala Dinner.
James Martin from BBC TV’s Saturday Kitchen, TV regular Paul Gayler and award-winning chefs John Campbell and Chris Galvin each designed and supervised a course at the dinner, which was held at The Dorchester in London and hosted by the hotel’s executive chef Henry Brosi.
Broadcaster and CLDF patron Sue Cook presented the evening, which attracted over 300 guests and 30 of the country’s leading culinary stars. Also in attendance was Birmingham-based CLDF patron Colin Buchanan, co-star of BBC detective drama Dalziel and Pascoe, and Dr Patrick McKiernan, CLDF’s honorary medical director and a consultant paediatric hepatologist at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Catherine Arkley, chief executive of CLDF, the country’s leading charity fighting childhood liver disease, said: “We were absolutely bowled over by the generosity of sponsors, auction lots, raffle prize donors, guests and chefs on the night. It was a fantastic result and on behalf of the families our thanks go to everyone involved.”
A recent Charity Commission survey found that 52 per cent of charities surveyed have been affected by the financial downturn. Some 58 per cent have already experienced a drop in income and 64 per cent with income over £1million are concerned the downturn will affect future work.
Ms Arkley said: “As a small charity, we are also very concerned about the road ahead, particularly when the need for our unique range of services is growing. Not only are there at least two new families receiving a diagnosis of childhood liver disease each day, but as youngsters with liver disease survive into their teens and young adulthood their need for specialist support and advice from CLDF grows with them.
“We now need to build further on our fund-raising programme to enable us to continue supporting families whose lives are shattered by a diagnosis of liver disease and funding further research into the causes and treatments to give them hope for a brighter future.”