Clients take centre stage at this year’s Campaign Dinner

25 Jun 2019

Big name presenters brought a night of news and stories to this year’s Jewish Care annual fundraising dinner, but the real stars of the show were over 20 clients who` attended the dinner and were featured in a series of films shown throughout the evening.

X Factor’s Dermot O’Leary reported on a 25th anniversary celebration party at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre. Tracy-Ann Oberman was joined by lyricist Don Black at a double 100 and 101st birthday party at Lady Sarah Cohen House and Sky News presenter Gillian Joseph interviewed Jewish Care President Lord Levy at the Michael Sobell Jewish Community Centre.

Steven Lewis the organisation’s Chairman went back to the site of Jewish Care’s Sandringham development where he was filmed last year, to show guests the recently opened Anita Dorfman House and Wolfson Assisted Living. He was also filmed talking to Wohl Court tenant Bernice who told him how her recent move into Jewish Care’s newest independent living scheme had given her security and peace of mind alongside her much-cherished independence.

Jewish Care Dinner Chair, Nicola Loftus opened the evening in a broadcast from the Redbridge Jewish Community Centre where she shone a spotlight on the importance of the organisation's day care and outreach work, from its community centres to meals on wheels and befriending for the growing numbers of people living alone who struggle to get out of their own homes. Nicola explained: “When people are too frail to see us we make sure we get to see them. 90% of the people who use our outreach services live alone and sadly that number continues to grow”.

In a powerful appeal film, Ruth spoke of her enduring love for her husband of 55 years, Leslie. Leslie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s 20 years ago and with dementia some years later. She said: “When things started getting bad, I thought I have got to speak to someone, so I contacted Jewish Care, they were really marvellous. It was a sense of relief to feel someone understood”. Leslie now lives at Vi & John Rubens House. As a testament of their love, Ruth ensures she visits him every day. She continued: “I thought he might think I don’t want him anymore and it wasn’t the case. I love him more for how he is now because he needs me more. I don’t think I would be able to manage without Jewish Care. They care about you and your loved ones”.

After the film was shown to over 900 guests in the Great Room at the Grosvenor House Hotel, the evenings host, Sky News presenter Gillian Joseph came onto the dinner floor to thank them for sharing their story with the guests and bringing the importance of the work of Jewish Care to life. She later commented; “My husband Leslie was always a fundraiser for Jewish Care. I know he will be pleased to know he is still making a difference today”.

Following the dinner, The Lord Levy Jewish Care’s President commented;

Every week, Jewish Care touches the lives of 10,000 people in our community, people like Ruth and Leslie. They are people like you and me facing challenges that sadly many of us will face in our own lives. The money we raised this evening will go along way towards ensuring we can continue to be there for everyone in our community who needs our unique Jewish Care”.

Speaking after the event Nicola Loftus, Chair of the Campaign Dinner and Jewish Care Trustee said;

“Tonight was all about Jewish Care, our clients and volunteers- they remind us about what is important in life and why our support is so vital. More and more people are relying on Jewish Cares vital services and the generosity of our donors together with our dedicated volunteers ensures that the most vulnerable and needy in our community get the support and help that they need. We have so much to be proud of in our community and the warmth and atmosphere of tonight’s dinner is a welcome reminder of what can be achieved when we all come together for a greater good”.

The night was brought to a close by 10CC who donated their time to perform at the event. Closing the night with their hit single ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ changing the final lyrics to “I don’t like Jewish Care I love it!”

 After the event Chairman Steven Lewis said;

“This year we need to raise a staggering £16 million to ensure we can look at developing new services whilst maintaining existing vital services. Thanks to the generosity of our dinner guests, I am delighted to announce that we raised £5.2 million, this is an excellent start towards meeting our revenue fundraising target for the year ahead”.