On Wednesday 6 December, we returned to the glorious surroundings of St Marylebone Parish Church in central London for our Together at Christmas event, a festive celebration that warms the heart and raises vital funds for our ten ‘Homes from Home’.
Generously sponsored by Balderton Capital, a 300-strong audience were treated to a wonderful evening to kick-start the Christmas celebrations, with a magnificent £16,000 being raised to help us continue providing families with a welcoming place to stay this Christmas and beyond.
The event featured a succession of festive performances, with seasonal readings coming from Tim Downie and Alice Beer, both proud ambassadors of The Sick Children’s Trust, Silent Witness star Emilia Fox and Smooth Radio breakfast show host Jenni Falconer. The magnificent voice of coloratura soprano and The Sick Children’s Trust ambassador Christina Johnston was also on display, with spine-tingling renditions of I’ll be home for Christmas and Angels We Have Heard on High leaving the audience spellbound.
The London Show Choir made a brilliant first appearance at the event, performing a magical version of Silent Night as well as a dazzling, hugely inventive medley of seasonal favourites expertly woven together. For the second successive year the fabulous Toffee Bear Choir from Grimsdell, Mill Hill Pre-Preparatory School provided huge smiles for all, especially on the faces of the numerous proud parents watching on. The Toffee Bear Choir were introduced by composer Karina Moore before they sang her beautiful carol Christmas All Over the World, which was followed by an enthusiastic rendition of Christmas Wish.
In addition to those joyous moments came a moving reminder about the vital role our ‘Homes from Home’ play in supporting families, with Ian Bridges emotionally explaining how we were there for him and his family at the darkest of times. In April 2022, Ian’s son Dexter suffered an accident which left him in an induced coma for 72 hours, with our Acorn House ‘Home from Home’ in Cambridge ensuring Ian and his wife Rachel were able to stay by Dexter’s side throughout the ordeal.
A selection of images from a magical evening can be found below.