‘Lean on me’ gala dinner raises over £50,000

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen, who described Friendship works as “brilliant and indispensable.”

Friendship Works supporters attending a star-studded gala at the historic Inner Temple Hall on Sunday 19 November helped raise over £50,000 towards our work. Guests at the event were treated to a revue show produced exclusively for the event, followed by a delightful sit down dinner.  Directed by Tim Pigott-Smith the show, entitled “Lean on Me”, brought together a multitude of stars from stage and screen. Highlights included a Dudley Moore and Peter Cook sketch from Mr Selfridge actors Tom Goodman-Hill and Ron Cook, a unique performance of ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) ’ sung by Downton Abbey’s  Michelle Dockery, stand-up from award winning comedian Jack Whitehall, and a mesmerising Shakespearean soliloquy by acting legend Sir Ian McKellen.

When asked about the charity Sir Ian McKellen said, “The children helped by Friendship Works are living in very difficult circumstances. We all know the difference it makes to have the support of a friend in times of adversity and that’s what this brilliant and indispensible charity provides.”

During the evening, guests heard three stories about children in need, waiting to be matched with a mentor. Guests were particularly moved by Shakira’s story. Shakira is a child with autism who is being bullied at school and does not have many friends. She is looking forward to getting her mentor so she can have someone to talk to about her problems, and to do fun things with. There are so many children like Shakira who are waiting to be paired with an adult mentor.

Not only did the gala raise such an exceptional sum for the charity, but an overall awareness of the cause. Friendship Works strives to improve disadvantaged children’s lives so they can develop skills for the future. These skills will help provide the children with a chance of a better adulthood.

Click here to make a donation to help us find mentors for more children like Shakira.