Sir Bob Geldof used his legendary fundraising kills to profitable effect for The Fed — Manchester Jewry’s leading social-care charity — last Thursday.
The humanitarian champion and Live Aid front man was guest speaker at The Fed’s dinner at the Sheridan Suite, Eastlands, drawing a sell-out crowd of over 600, including a number of new Fed supporters.
Speaking without notes, Sir Bob entertained his audience with a 45-minute address containing only a small number of his trademark expletives.
Recalling that his own commitment to improving the lives of others dated back to his teens — when he helped the homeless in his native Dublin — Sir Bob highlighted the cynicism of those who distanced themselves from “what’s right to do”, seeing it as the state’s responsibility.
“This is not enough,” he declared. “Figures are being cut and we can’t allow this to happen.” He implored guests to donate to the cause “with great generosity”. They responded by meeting The Fed’s £500,000 target for the dinner. And many diners made three-year commitments to the charity.
Outlining the breadth of The Fed’s work, chairman designate Mark Adlestone spoke of the struggle to finance essential services at a time when demand was greater than ever. Constraints on local-authority spending had contributed to a shortfall which The Fed had to meet.
Although delighted by the “phenomenal” response to the dinner, chief executive Karen Phillips warned: “All that means nothing unless people heed Sir Bob’s message. The community relies on us but we won’t be here in five years’ time unless people give us their backing — and stay with us.”