Celebrities, peers, global bankers, Downton Abbey aristocracy and the cream of high society turned out last night for a glittering silver jubilee ball in support of the much loved children’s charity Rainbow Trust.

Stars on the red carpet included; Julian Fellowes, fresh from his triumph at the Emmy awards for the hit period drama Downton Abbey and to keeping him company was much of Downton’s wondrous cast including Hugh Bonneville (The Earl of Grantham), Brendan Coyle (Mr John Bates), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith Crawley) and Dan Stevens (Captain Matthew Crawley). Author and former politician Jeffrey Archer; West End actress and singer Sophie Evans, found during Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘search for Dorothy’, and reality TV stars Caggie Dunlop and Hugo Taylor from Made in Chelsea also attended the glittering ball.

Held at London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel, the evening commenced with a Louis Roederer Champagne reception in the stunning River Room. The famous hotel was the site of Rainbow’s first ever London-based ball and, in a fitting tribute, the charity decided to return to the venue to celebrate its landmark 25th year.

The ball, hosted by Julian Fellowes, also featured an exclusive auction by Jeffery Archer, where quirky lots included a round of golf with broadcaster Chris Evans, work experience at Tswalu, South Africa’s largest luxury game reserve and an opportunity for a child to be a Liverpool mascot.

During dinner in the Savoy’s Ballroom, West End show stopper Sophie Evans performed a touching rendition of the classic ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. Meanwhile the charity’s inspirational founder, Bernadette Cleary OBE, gave a moving speech about her pride at the staggering number of families Rainbow Trust has helped during the last 25 years – a charity which in the early days was operated out of her garden shed.

With tickets at £250 a head, the ball attracted a wealth of celebrities and VIPs, all stepping out to show their support for the charity which helps families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.

Global investment bank Nomura, who recently announced a two-year fundraising partnership with the charity and AWAC (Allied World Assurance Company), which has shown tremendous support for Rainbow Trust, were also in attendance.

Guests danced into the early hours with live music from the fantastic Chance Band.

Heather Wood, Chief Executive of Rainbow Trust said: “Returning to the Savoy, the site of Rainbow’s first ever, big London fundraiser was a fantastic way to mark our 25th Year and we are overwhelmed by the names and faces that have stepped out this evening to support us. Without such tremendous generosity and support, Rainbow would not have been able to help the 14,000 families that it has over the last 25 years. We plan to press ahead with ambitious expansion plans to achieve our vision – that one day all terminally ill children and their families will have access to a Rainbow carer.”

Rainbow Trust has grown into one of the UK’s most-loved children’s charities. Each year its devoted care teams provide expert social palliative care to almost 1,200 families across England faced with the unimaginable ordeal of caring for a child battling a life threatening or terminal illness.


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