Once again it was a capacity crowd at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London on Friday 6th December on what turned out to be a record-breaking event for the Charity. A monumental quarter of a million pounds was raised through table sales, live and silent auctions, heads and tails, a raffle and event sponsorship.
All of money will directly benefit construction families in crisis and help the charity to provide even more support to the construction industry, including mental health training, development of their helpline app and an increased portfolio of charitable services available through their 24/7 construction industry helpline.
Guests were welcomed in by live music from 1852 whose band members all work for Willmott Dixon interiors. They were awarded best fundraisers at this year’s Construction Rocks battle of the bands event and they certainly got the day off to a lively start.
Each year, the Charity awards the ‘Peter Capel’ Cup to recognise organisations that have made a substantial contribution to the Charity’s work and this year the highly coveted award was presented to two companies: Canary Wharf Contractors Fund and Heathrow Airport. Money donated by the Canary Wharf Contractors Fund was used to deliver construction focussed mental health first aid training to SME’s across the UK whilst Heathrow Airport and their supply chain, (Team Heathrow) donated funds from their hard hat recycling scheme, a dragon boat day and a hugely successful rugby day. Congratulations to both for their amazing efforts.
Lynn Way, President of the NASC (National Access and Scaffolding Confederation) and Peter Capel Cup nominees, also presented the Charity with a cheque for £25,000 which was raised by members at the annual NASC awards event that was held a few weeks earlier.
Sky Sports presenters Vicky Gomersall and Julian Warren hosted the proceedings for the day
and introduced top class sporting celebrities from the world of boxing and rugby.
First on stage was boxing legend and the hugely popular Frank Bruno who talked very honestly and openly about life when he was growing up and his determination to avoid a life of crime. He also spoke frankly about his struggle with mental health, how he copes with anxiety on a daily basis and his views of boxing today. Chants of ‘Bruno, Bruno’ were still ringing long after he’d left the stage.
Next up was a quartet of rugby lions legends, Brian O’Driscoll, Matt Dawson, Phil Bennett and Willie John McBride. Brian and Matt entertained the audience with ‘behind the scenes’ stories about fellow lion Austin Healey and the brutality of the South African ruts. Phil and Willie went on to remember with glee the famous 1974 lions tour of South Africa where Willie’s now famous ‘99’ call ensured a ‘one in – all in’ retaliation policy. Willie, who turns 80 next year was also treated to an early rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by an appreciative audience.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said, “This has been a great day. We just can’t believe how hugely generous everyone has been because every year, our expectations are surpassed. This means that we can reach out to more construction families in crisis and continue to provide even more support at the ‘front end’ so that we can achieve our mission of ensuring that no worker should feel alone in a crisis.
Thank you too, to all the volunteers who work so hard behind the scenes to make sure that this day goes well and of course to our event sponsors and supporters.
The money raised will go towards continuing our vital helpline services and developing our Building Mental Health programme so that we can continue to support our construction families in need and make a real difference to people who have nowhere else to turn.”
The festivities continued well into the evening with guests reluctant to leave and making the most of the networking opportunities.