BCMS at 30: a birthday charity fundraiser
The very first Hope Supper took place on November 13, 2019 at Drapers’ Hall, London. We welcomed over 200 guests from a wide range of backgrounds, including our former BCMS clients, legal and wealth partners, government, and friends. I think it’s fair to say it was an incredible success! People were genuinely moved by the work that BCMS does in India with The Snowdrop Foundation charity. To quote Neil Needham, former client and now a BCMS Fellow: “The work of the Foundation is remarkable. It’s also amazing to think that [BCMS founder] Brian Rebbettes and his wife started the project so long ago when charitable giving was not as trendy as it is now.”
Live music, real-life inspiration
Dave Rebbettes compèred the evening excellently and, as usual, injected humour and charm into his hosting. During the evening we heard from an incredible singer, Kerri Watt, who plugged in her guitar and sang some haunting songs. Chris Moon MBE talked about his story of being taken hostage, undergoing torture, negotiating his release, and then how he lost his arm and leg in a landmine accident. Chris’ attitude towards his experience should be a lesson to all of us. Chris’ advice was to start the day with gratitude, being thankful for all you have and all whom you love. In his own words: “A thankful heart finds many blessings.”
Personally, the presentation that Brian and Sam Rebbettes gave, as grandad and grandson, was the most compelling. Brian and Sam, representing the different family generations, sharing stories about the work we do in India, was so heartfelt – you can get a real sense of the work of the Foundation from this short video, which formed part of their presentation.
People could see that for BCMS, this is not simply about meeting our Corporate Social Responsibilities, but more about who we are as a business. They could see on stage our desire for our business success to power life-changing work in India. As Tom Woodard, BCMS Fellow, put it: “I was particularly humbled by the genuine passion the Rebbettes family felt over The Snowdrop Foundation. So often a corporate may adopt a charity for corporate reasons, but here there is a genuine passion to make a difference that is worthy of support.”
We heard from various celebrities on stage. Crossbench peer Lord John Bird said how he admired the Rebbettes family for their commitment to offer a hand-up, not a handout. He was excited to see how education had broken the poverty loop in so many young people’s lives in Kakinada. The philanthropist Stelio Stefanou, of the Stefanou Foundation, applauded our ability to create wealth and then inspire entrepreneurs to consider how they can utilise their new-found wealth to do good.
…and plenty of fun in the process!
The evening finished on a high-note when Dave Rebbettes’ microphone strategically ‘broke’ and someone masquerading as a technician suddenly burst into song, singing “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen. The audience all stood up and danced. Our CEO Jonathan Dunn commented to me he never imagined he’d be at a BCMS dinner with arms aloft – one hand waving a napkin, while singing Andy Williams!
We’re so very grateful to all our partners, sponsors, Fellows and friends for buying tickets, sponsoring tables, and bidding on the various raffle and auction prizes. We really can’t thank you enough: you’ve made a huge difference.
We’re still working on the final total raised – but I can confirm it’s well over £25,000. An event of this calibre would be a challenge for an events company whose job it is to do this all the time, and the comments we’ve received from our guests demonstrate how impressed they were with the planning, running and execution of The Hope Supper. We’re so lucky to have so many talented people working with us here.
Feedback on the night…
- “Thank you for such a wonderful evening, I know how hard you all worked to make it perfect.” Mike Bailey, BCMS Fellow
- “What a truly fantastic event! I've never seen such a large room of people erupt into song before. We had a great dance and the final singers really got the crowd going, they were great! Thank you for inviting us to be a part of the event, The Snowdrop Foundation is a truly wonderful cause, I was so moved by the presentation and I hope you raised a huge amount of money on the night.” Rebecca Tunstall, Rathbones
- “I am writing to say thank you so much for organising such an amazing event on Wednesday. It was a great turn out so well done making it all run so smoothly. The venue, speakers, music, food, drink and company were all fabulous. It was moving to hear about the great work the Rebbettes family has done with their charitable foundation. What a good idea to hand out snowdrops bulbs for the charity raffle – my three-year old daughter enjoyed planting it!” Andrew Bretherton, Freeths
- “Just a quick note from the SPB Team to say thank you for a brilliant night on Wednesday. We had a great time (evidenced by the dancing on our table) and thought it was a great and truly inspiring event.” Paul Mann, Squire Patton Boggs
- “Huge thanks for a truly memorable evening at Drapers Hall - what a superb event from start to finish, we both thoroughly enjoyed it and well done to you all for putting on such a superb bash!” Simon Tremlett, BCMS Fellow
- “What a cracking evening last night was. Extremely well organised and a whole lot of fun too and all for a good cause.” Phil O’Brien, BCMS Fellow
- “I wanted to say thanks for a wonderful evening on Wednesday. The venue was stunning, food was excellent, company wonderful, speakers/introducers inspiring and comical, and the presentation given by Brian and Sam was humbling.” Winston Lee, BCMS Fellow
- “Thanks to you and the wider team for all of your efforts arranging the evening - it really was fantastic and I am well aware how much hard work must have gone into making it all run so smoothly on the night!” Dr Adam Parker, Tilney
- “Just a quick note to thank you so much for inviting Geoff and I to The Hope Supper last week. We had a super evening at a fabulous venue and all for such a good cause!” Mandy Medcraft, BCMS Fellow
- “This is just a quick note to thank you very much for your fabulous hospitality on Wednesday night at the Hope Supper. I’m sure the totals raised must be immense and will be put to achieve untold benefits over in India soon. I know these events take such a lot of hard work and passion to set up so congratulations on a mega success.” Deborah Richards, BCMS Fellow