An event featuring Sister Sledge at Prestonfield House has raised more than £700k for The Prince’s Trust charity.
The annual ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ event raised the huge sum after the legendary American disco act and Scottish Ballet dancers performed in front of an audience of 400 of Scotland’s most influential women at the prestigious Edinburgh venue.
In its ninth year, the event has now raised over £3 million for The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, allowing the charity to transform over 3,000 young Scots lives.
This year’s funds will make a ‘meaningful difference to hundreds of young people’s lives, giving them the support they need to turn their lives around and reach their full potential’, according to the Trust.
The ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ volunteer committee is run by a group of self-proclaimed “Old Bags” who shook up a selection of auction donations and ‘money can’t buy’ raffle prizes, including an exclusive all expenses paid trip to London Fashion Week for two and a ‘dine-in’ experience with Glaswegian Masterchef the Professionals Winner Gary McLean, who will cook a three-course meal for six in the prize winner’s kitchen.
There were numerous exclusive handbags on offer in the ‘fast bag auction’, which included a wide range of designer bags from Mulberry, Gucci and Valentino.
The event aims to ‘challenge the stereotypes applied to the more mature lady, as well as the unnecessary labelling of young people, who can face negative stereotypes of their own.’
Teddin Hughes, Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, who spoke at the event about how The Prince’s Trust helped turn their life around, said: “The Prince’s Trust has been there for me time and time again. Thanks to the support of this wonderful organisation, I was able to develop the skills I needed to grow during such a crucial stage of my life. That makes it such a pleasure to be presenting at Lunch with an Old Bag, which helps to support the great activities The Trust undertakes to help young people like me to achieve their true potential.”
Fiona Donaldson, Chair of the LWOB Volunteer Committee, said: “Every year we’re astounded at the amount raised, and this year is no different. It just shows the difference a room full of “Old Bags” can make. Thank you to our extraordinary supporters and volunteer committee for helping The Prince’s Trust to transform thousands of young lives.”
For the past nine years, James Thomson OBE has hosted the invitation-only lunch event at his five-star venue, Prestonfield, free of charge.
He said: “The Prince’s Trust is exceptionally close to us all at Prestonfield and some of our team at the event today have come from The Trust. To date our ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ at Prestonfield has helped thousands of young people in Scotland. That seemed an impossible target when we started Lunch with an Old Bag and simply wouldn’t have been possible without the huge generosity of the ‘Old Bags’ and their ferocious bidding towards a great cause!”
Local personality, Capital FM presenter and Prince’s Trust Ambassador, Des Clarke hosted the event and conducted the Fast Bag Auction while Grant Stott, another Trust ambassador conducted the Main Auction, and entertainment was provided by disco legends Sister Sledge. Tapestry Audio Visual did the AV this year and according to organisers ‘did a fantastic job’.
This year The Prince’s Trust will support 12,000 young people in Scotland. Three in four young people supported by the youth charity will move into employment, training or start their own business.