Pineapple with the Local Angels for Jewish Care20 Nov 2015
180 women enjoyed a high-energy lunch with guest speaker Debbie Moore OBE, model, business woman, founder of Pineapple Dance Studios and the first woman to float a company on the London Stock Exchange.
The lunch, held on Wednesday, at the Marriott Hotel Waltham Abbey, raised over £18,000 to help support local services, for people age 3 to 103+, provided by Jewish Care in Redbridge.
The Committee who organised the lunch, now in its eighth year, have raised £130,000 to date. Their efforts have helped fund the cost of Jewish Care buses that transport people living with dementia to the organisation’s specialist day centre in Ilford, funding to provide one to one support for children with special needs to attend holiday schemes at Jewish Care’s Redbridge Jewish Community Centre and the Centre’s MIKE leadership training programme for teenagers who gain valuable leadership and life skills to become the future leaders of the programme.
Chair of Local Angels Committee, Gayle Klein told guests, “I’d like to thank Debbie Moore OBE for talking to us today and sharing her inspirational story with us, and for supporting Jewish Care and also thank the Committee for their hard work and all of our guests for their generosity and support which makes us so proud of everyone at the Local Angels events. All that you do to make a real difference to the lives of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Our lives are changing, the needs of our families and loved ones are differing from year to year,” she continued, “yet no matter what changes we go through or what challenges we might face, there is one constant, when we need a helping hand or want to enjoy or celebrate our community, Jewish Care is there.”
Gayle introduced Debbie Moore OBE, who drew the raffle at the lunch and told guests how her story began as just an ordinary teenager from Manchester whose dad was a plumber and mum was a clerk, when she won a modelling competition for Honey magazine after her friends entered for her, when she was just 15 years old. She became an international model, meeting her first husband, a photographer, and married at 21. When her marriage fell apart she came to London to work and found a dance classes in London to help her stay in shape. When that class in Floral Street closed Debbie saw a niche and opened her own studios at a disused pineapple warehouse in Covent Garden, Pineapple Dance Studios in Langley Street. Arlene Phillips, Debbie’s first dance teacher, also a Jewish Care supporter, came to teach at Pineapple which now has 120 teachers. Building on the success of Pineapple, Moore combined her knowledge of fashion and dance by launching the Pineapple label which pioneered cotton lycra dancewear which became street wear fashion and subsequently made history by becoming the first woman to float her company on the stock exchange. She has since opened new studios and Pineapple shops in London and New York and received her OBE from The Queen in 2010.
Debbie has a 41 year old daughter, with her second husband Norris Masters who sadly passed away in 1988. Her daughter Lara is a champion for the rights of people with disabilities, since becoming paralysed as a teenager. Speaking after the lunch, Debbie said,
“It’s a real pleasure to be here today to speak at the Local Angels, it really feels like one big family. I’m pleased to support them to raise funds for Jewish Care who provide fantastic care for older people in the community and residential homes. I understand how important good care is having cared for my daughter and for my mother as she got older, and also how vital that support is for carers.
“Health is so important for us all and it’s good to know that Jewish Care are engaging older people in meaningful activities including dance and exercise at their community centres and homes. I feel passionate about the many positive benefits of dance and exercise, preventing many health problems, helping us to connect with others, feel good and generally improve well being and health and the wonderful thing is that there’s something for everyone and for all ages.”