David Dimbleby is special guest at our charity lunch

The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne played host to broadcaster David Dimbleby at a fundraising lunch in aid of Rockinghorse.

Supported by headline sponsors Hart Reade Solicitors and co-sponsors IEP Financial, Cobb PR and Metro Bank, the annual Best of British event on Friday 14 September welcomed over 200 guests from the local business community for an afternoon in the company of the 79-year-old broadcasting legend, who lives in Polegate, East Sussex.

Compered by Danny Pike from BBC Sussex & Surrey, guests enjoyed a three-course lunch followed by an entertaining talk from Mr Dimbleby, who recently announced that he is retiring from the current affairs programme Question Time at the end of 2018, after 25 years at the helm.

During the fundraising lunch, generous guests raised an incredible £15,000 for Rockinghorse through a raffle and auction. It was announced at the lunch that we have partnered with Towner Art Gallery, of which Mr Dimbleby is Chair of Trustees, to support their award-winning learning programme. They are developing a brand-new programme using the arts to support children with mental health conditions in Eastbourne and we have pledged to help fund the scheme.

The new programme will see qualified art therapists placed in primary schools across Eastbourne to support children in exploring emotional and learning difficulties in a safe environment. The funds raised for our charity at the Best of British lunch, will be donated to enable Towner Art Gallery to kick-start their new art therapy programme.

Speaking at the event, Ryan Heal, Chief Executive at Rockinghorse and organiser of the Best of British lunch, said: “Here at Rockinghorse we pride ourselves on our approach to mental health care for children and young people in Sussex. Our partnership with Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne is testament to our continued support of care for children in Sussex.”

We have been supporting children in the county for over 50 years, with the aim to improve the lives of sick and vulnerable children. Rockinghorse is best known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, and a vital supporter of the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit. To find out more about us, please click here.

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