21st Birthday Celebration

Sunbeams 21st Birthday Celebration at LSO St Luke’s
raises over £75,000!

“One of the happiest auctions I've ever attended” - Lord Jeffrey Archer

Well – what an evening! On one of the warmest days of the year so far we welcomed 130 guests to join us at LSO St Luke’s, to celebrate 21 years of Annie Mawson’s Sunbeams Music Trust. We were overwhelmed with the support this event generated. We had guests across the UK and beyond, including some people flying in from Switzerland just for the night!

We were allowed into the venue from 4pm so with just 2½ hours before the doors opened, we had quite a task ahead of us, but with Sunbeams friends and volunteers behind us, we managed to divide and conquer to be ready to welcome our guests at 6.30pm.

The Food

We enjoyed a wonderful drinks and canapé reception followed by a magnificent Lakeland Picnic Feast , where we were honoured to feature some of Cumbria’s best producers. Cranstons Butchers provided us with their bestselling Ullswater Pie, Peter Gott cured 6 legs of prime Herdwick lamb, Thorny Moor Dairy & Appleby Creamery supplied our cheese selection and Hawkshead Relishes let us “embellish with relish” all the wonderful produce with their Westmorland and their Damson chutneys. And to finish the evening, The Toffee Shop, Penrith supplied some delicious after dinner sweets. Lakeland were generous in their sponsorship of the evening, which all went towards ensuring the event catering was second to none.

The Music

Musical entertainment on the night came from Sunbeams beneficiary and future ‘Director of First Impressions’ of the Sunbeams Centre, Steven Shears and Annie who sang Wonderful World to great applause. They were followed by Sunbeams Vice Chairman Ife Akintunde who had the crowd in tears with his rendition of The Greatest Love Of All.
Finally the wonderful Locrian Ensemble, led by their director Justin Pearson and joined by West End Star Jill Washington, brought the house down with a collection of songs delivered in stunning period costume.

The Auction

Of course the main event of the evening was the amazing Charity Auction, hosted by Lord Jeffrey Archer. Famous for his talents as an auctioneer, Jeffrey had the place buzzing with auction fever. Flying in from another auction, he still made time to try our Lakeland Picnic and declared the pies and lamb to be incredible – he’s already ordered a pie from Cranstons! Then , taking to the stage he whipped up the crowd and in his inimitable style, ensured our lots were fought over by the very generous audience. He was particularly moved by the videos of our beneficiaries like wonderful Oli, Yasmin, Bernie, and Tom. Here are a few words from his blog…

“Sunbeams Music Trust was set up to provide therapeutic music to those with special needs including physical disabilities and mental health problems. This was one of the happiest auctions I've ever attended, and Annie Mawson, the founder, and her workers from Cumbria are all that is good in a charity - no extra expenses, no hangers-on, everybody playing their part, from the pie man to the Lord Lieutenant. The auction raised £49,000 for a wonderfully worthwhile cause. Events like this serve to remind me how lucky I am to have two healthy children and a healthy grandson.” – Lord Jeffrey Archer


Guests also enjoyed a Silent Auction throughout the night

which brought in a further £7000

And since the event we have had even more donations, plus of course the donations from the guests on the night for their seats so all in all we raised over £75,000

To give you an idea of what this means… it is 1½ therapy rooms in the new centre!


To all the sponsors, supporters and volunteers…to those who came on the night and to those who couldn’t come, but still sent a donation. Special thanks to those people who donated or sourced items for the auction and to those who bought the items!!

And special thanks to those people who helped plan and deliver the event like Simon Rayner of Surgery Group, who was an invaluable advisor and also brought his team with him on the night to help ensure things ran smoothly. It is because of you all that the event was such a success .

Bishop Laurie & Simon Rayner leading 'Heads or Tails'

From Annie & The Sunbeams Team



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