An Action Medical Research fundraising event in Hampshire has marked a milestone for one of the charity’s celebrity supporters, TV presenter Davina McCall.
On Friday, 3 November around 400 women attended the Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton for the eleventh annual ‘Dine with Davina’.
This year’s event was extra special as there was also an opportunity for Action Medical Research to say ‘thank you’ to Davina; the TV star – who recently celebrated her fiftieth birthday – began supporting the charity when she was just nine years old.
Community Fundraiser Alice Lisher, who organised this year’s lunch, says her help has been incredible: “Davina was first introduced to Action by her granny Pippy who was a very keen supporter of ours.
“Davina always kept in touch with the charity and over the years has hosted bike rides, lunches and has even run marathons for us! As a token of our appreciation we wanted to present Davina with her own personal photo album, documenting some of her fundraising highlights for Action.
“Davina is very modest about her charity work for us, but we really wanted to acknowledge - in a small way - our gratitude for her loyalty and support. Thank you Davina!”
Davina receives her special photo album from Action's Head of Community and Events Fundraising David Graham
As usual, Davina chatted with guests and had her photo taken with them as they arrived for a Champagne reception before everyone was seated for the delicious three course meal.
Following the lunch, local legend John Cameron held an auction with some amazing prizes on offer including a dress and shoes worn by Davina to the BAFTA’s and hospitality on match day at Southampton Football Club. Other prizes up for grabs were ‘his and hers’ Garmin Vivomove HR watches; a stunning diamond necklace from Laing and a Champagne experience on the London Eye courtesy of Vranken Pommery.
Plus there was live music from former Mr England and singing sensation Jordan Williams who performed his Michael Bublé Tribute Act to an enthusiastic crowd.
Speaking after the event Davina said: “There’s always such a wonderful atmosphere at these lunches; everyone comes ready for a good time and helps us raise a phenomenal amount of money for Action.
“Thank you so much to everybody who came along. It was an absolutely brilliant afternoon and I can’t wait until next year!”
While monies raised from the auction are still being counted, it is estimated that the funds collected will be similar to last year’s total of £38,000.
‘Dine with Davina’ was supported by Garmin and Next.
Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.
The charity is currently funding research into conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.