Eddie the Eagle inspires fundraising success at sporting lunch

Guests were treated to an afternoon in the company of Olympian Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards at our charity sporting lunch last week.

The Best of British event was held at the Hilton Gatwick Airport Hotel on Friday 9 November in aid of Rockinghorse, raising over £17,500!

230 guests packed in to the Ascot Suite for the fourth annual fundraising lunch sponsored by Ecoingot, which welcomed the legendary ski-jumper as special guest speaker.

Eddie, who is considered one of the most inspiring speakers on the circuit, shot to fame at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. In 2016 he had a Hollywood blockbuster made about his colourful life and career, starring Hugh Jackman and Taron Egerton – and guests were certainly not left disappointed by his witty and charismatic stories of determination.

Funds raised at Best of British Gatwick will enable us to continue our support of Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit, which is located on the site of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

Chalkhill is the county’s only dedicated in-patient service for children and young people with mental health problems, and we have supported the unit for a number of years through the ‘Rockinghorse Activities Programme’.

Thanks to funds raised at the sporting lunch, we are well on our way to funding the programme for another year. Rockinghorse Chief Executive and Best of British event organiser, Ryan Heal, spoke to guests about the impact of their donations.

He said: “Chalkhill cares for patients aged 8-16-years-old who are tackling a range of complex mental health problems, including eating disorders, depression and early-onset psychosis. By the time a child is admitted to the unit, they have already stopped engaging in day-to-day life, withdrawing from family and friends.

“For three successive years now, we have funded the Rockinghorse Activities Programme, which provides activity-based distraction, therapy and education for young patients facing the most difficult period in their lives.

“We have seen first-hand how activities such as drama, music, yoga, arts and crafts, can provide extra benefits and opportunities. This project is all made possible thanks to the generous donations from our supporters, thank you.”

Best known for our work with the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton, we support projects at children’s centres and paediatric services across Sussex and are proud to be celebrating 51 years of making a difference to the county’s most poorly and vulnerable children. To find out more about our work, please click here.

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