A charity Diwali celebration in Henley has raised more than £40,000 for programmes to help some of the most disadvantaged children in India.
The Diwali Dinner Dance took place at Henley’s Phyllis Court Members Club on Saturday, 18 November. The highlight of the night was an auction hosted by actor Christopher Biggins, the top prize of which was the chance to win dinner with the man himself. £21,500 was raised on the night, with a further £20,000 pledged.
The event was held in aid of The Hope Foundation (HOPE) – a charity dedicated to transforming the lives of disadvantaged street-connected children in Kolkata, India.
Christopher Biggins is a long-time Patron of HOPE, through which he also generously sponsors a child in Kolkata.
Henley Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton was also invited to the event. She said, “It was lovely to celebrate Diwali in aid of the Hope Foundation hosted by the wonderful Christopher Biggins. It was an exquisite night by the river at Phyllis Court and I was amazed by the beautiful Indian outfits and all the bright colours. It really was a feast for the eyes and Biggins was absolutely hilarious. He is such fun and it was lovely to meet him ahead of our Christmas festival this same week. The most important thing is that a large amount of money was raised for people that really do benefit greatly from the work the Hope Foundation do.”
HOPE UK Head of Fundraising, Juliette Whittaker, said: “A huge thank you to everyone in Henley who attended and supported this vibrant event. We are delighted that the evening raised so much for HOPE’s programmes. The funds will help to make a real and positive difference to the lives of so many street-connected children in Kolkata, India.”