Sporting lunch proves a winner

The Best of British charity sporting lunch has raised £35,550 for our 50th year appeal, Sussex Giving for Sussex Children.

Held at The Grand Hotel in Brighton on Friday 2 June, the much-loved event welcomed special guest speaker Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards. The former ski-jumper, who won the hearts of the nation in the 1988 Winter Olympics held in Calgary Canada, addressed almost 500 guests from local businesses.

Now an after-dinner speaker, Mr Edwards recalled his most famous moments and also spoke about the recent film made about his life, Eddie the Eagle, which received a number of award nominations. He also spent time chatting to guests during the drinks reception and having pictures taken.

The charity sporting lunch has become a consistently sold-out event and a highlight in the calendar for many local businesses in the city. Sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter, guests enjoyed a three-course meal with wine, and dug deep to give generously in the raffle and auction.

Rockinghorse is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and we aim to raise £500,000 during our Golden Jubilee, to be split between 10 children’s centres and paediatric services in Sussex. The Sussex Giving for Sussex Children initiative will help improve, refurbish and develop the environment for the young people benefiting from the supported projects.

One of the projects receiving support is Chalkhill Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit, based in Haywards Heath. It is Sussex’s only dedicated unit to help young people suffering from mental health illnesses. Last year, funds raised at the Best of British event helped fund an activities programme for inpatients.

This year, some of the funds raised will be donated to the units’ outreach programme, helping young people out in the community who are struggling with mental health problems. The rest of the money raised will be donated towards the nine other projects supported by our appeal – please click here to find out more.

Ryan Heal, Chief Executive of Rockinghorse, and organiser of the Best of British event, said: “For any charity to be going strong for 50 years is quite incredible. When Dr Trevor Mann started Rockinghorse in the late sixties, I’m sure he would be proud that his vision is still going strong as events like Best of British show. Through our Golden Jubilee appeal, we are providing vital support to centres and services for young people in Sussex and are extremely grateful for the generosity shown at our sporting lunch.”

Next year’s Best of British promises to be even bigger and better as the event celebrates its 10th anniversary. To reserve your table, email

Our thanks to everyone who attended and supported the event, helping us to raise an incredible amount of money. A special mention to headline sponsors Mayo Wynne Baxter, co-sponsors Leaders, Fundraising Auctions, Mascol Events, City Cabs, Extech, Midnight Communications, Searches UK and media partner The Argus.

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