Legendary British sportspeople gathered in London last week to raise funds for UK charity Fields of Life, which collaborates with local communities in East Africa to provide clean water, quality education, health promotion and other community-based projects.
£5,000 was raised at the event, which will go towards creating a well for an East African community in much need of access to clean water.
Special guests at the gala dinner included former Formula One driver, Mark Blundell, record-breaking sailor Dee Caffari MBE, former international rugby player Neil Back MBE, former rugby player Simon Shaw MBE, former cricketer Jeremy Snape and racing driver Jordan King.
The evening was hosted by CAF Bank in conjunction with Fields of Life and sports agency MB Partners at M Restaurant on Threadneedle Street in the City of London, where 110 guests had the opportunity to mingle with the sporting legends, enjoy a three-course signature M menu and listen to exciting stories from the special guests during a panel session.
Guests even had the chance to experience what it takes to be a professional racing driver on MB Partners’ race simulator before CNN presenter Amanda Davies introduced them to Fields of Life’s water programmes, including its ‘Water for Life’ campaign, which aims to provide clean, safe drinking water to one million people by 2020.
Prizes were donated from Hertfordshire-based Alyssa Smith Jewellery for the fastest man and woman on the race simulator.
Deborah Cameron, head of development and fundraising at Fields of Life GB, said: “This was our first gala dinner in Great Britain and it was wonderful to see so many people come together with the sole aim of supporting this incredible charity and its life-saving work, as well as marking Fields of Life’s 25th anniversary.
“Villagers across East Africa walk on average four miles per journey to collect water, often carrying up to 20kg. Providing a community with access to a clean, safe, water source does more than just reduce the number of water-related illnesses – it reduces the number of hours spent collecting water, which therefore allows children to attend school and gain a quality education, and also reduces the risk of attack on young girls who have to fetch water alone.
“The money raised at the event will be used to completely change the lives of a community and we are so grateful to everyone who took part in and attended the event to support the incredible work of Fields of Life.”
Dina Henry, chief operating officer at CAF Bank, said: “The lack of available clean water in East Africa is deeply concerning and it’s hard to believe that in 2018 one tenth of the world’s population still do not have access to safe water.
“It was an honour to host this event alongside MB Partners and M Restaurant, which will help Fields of Life continue its vital work of providing clean, safe drinking water to as many people in the region as possible.”
Mark Blundell said: “MB Partners was proud to help Fields of Life and support a cause that many of us in our day-to-day lives take for granted – the provision of clean water. As such, it didn’t take two seconds to decide we would help fellow supporters CAF Bank and M Restaurant to assist with a great evening of fundraising.”
Since the inception of the organisation in Ireland in 1993, Fields of Life has raised approximately £30 million, which has allowed the team to build 120 schools, educate in excess of 50,000 children and drill 700 wells across East Africa.
Through the provision of clean water, education and health promotion, it is Fields of Life’s mission to see local communities throughout East Africa strengthened and empowered and for those communities to be the drivers of change, seeing that children are nurtured and developed to realise their full potential.
Fields of Life is a registered charity in the UK, Uganda, Ireland and America, with its GB office opening four years ago in Kent.