Simon Cowell, Kate Garraway help raise £3.3m for Norwood
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Simon Cowell with Young Norwood’s Rachael Davis Stollar and Simon Walton - and the duchess addressing diners
Norwood supporters responded to the charity's financial crisis by turning out in numbers for Monday's annual dinner, raising £3.3 million.
The proceeds were £600,000 up on last year, leaving the welfare charity £400,000 short of the additional
£1 million needed from the community. This is part of a £4 million cost-cutting package to cover slashed statutory services income. The remainder is being achieved by pay cuts for front-line care staff and head office redundancies. Savings were also made on the dinner itself.
Chief executive Norma Brier said that attracting more than 1,300 guests to the Mayfair fundraiser was "a wonderful achievement in this difficult economic climate". In total, Norwood needs to raise £10 million from the community this year.
Addressing the dinner, Mrs Brier stressed the importance of community generosity in keeping all Norwood services intact. "In over 30 years of social care experience, I have never encountered a situation that requires such devastating cuts or heart-breaking decisions."
An appeal was also made by Lisa Cramer, whose disabled son Baruch uses many of Norwood's services.
The family were part of an appeal film, also featuring Rochelle Reindorp, who has learning disabilities. The teenager has pictures of Simon Cowell plastered over her bedroom wall and was introduced to the X Factor judge during the evening.
Breakfast TV star Kate Garraway presented the Lady Jakobovits Helping Hand awards to "unsung heroes" in the community. The three recipients were Frances Goldberg, who is a carer for her brother, her mother and an elderly neighbour; Adam Williams, who founded Kippot for Hope, supporting the small Ugandan Jewish community; and multiple sclerosis organisation Aims2Cure.
Reviewing the year, chairman Bernie Myers highlighted achievements such as the special resource centre at the new cross-communal JCoSS school and the extension of family support services. "There are many deserving causes, both here and abroad. But right here, right now, in London, in the heart of our community, Norwood is providing life-changing support."
In a further fundraising push, "digital diners" were catered to on Norwood's website, Facebook,Twitter and YouTube.