Question: What links Britain’s most successful mountaineer to Banksy artwork and private Strictly Come Dancing lessons?
Answer: Arrows Group Foundation’s sparkling charity dinner and auction.
Held in collaboration with the Royal Bank of Scotland to support the life-changing work of the Arrows Group Foundation in India, over £55,000 was raised on the night. This is enough for the Foundation, which exists to tackle child poverty through employability, to fund a new orphanage for girls in central Delhi, where there are estimated to be around 50,000 children who live on the streets.
Since its inception in 2015, the Arrows Group Foundation has been built around the core Arrows Group Global vision of ‘employee empowerment’. Aiming to empower vulnerable children born into poverty in India, the Foundation focuses on constructive causes including education, mentoring and career readiness, in order to change lives in the long term.
The room at RBS Bishopsgate was packed out with guests keen to support the cause. The full tables listened to a moving account from Foundation co-founder Adrian Treacy, describing in vivid detail his first-hand encounter with a young girl, the age of his son, orphaned and on the streets in India. The moment inspired him to establish the charity.
Emphasising the practical actions which can be taken to defeat child poverty, Adrian then gave up the stage to Kenton Cool, Britain’s most successful mountaineer. Having scaled the dizzying heights of Mount Everest 12 times, he spoke passionately about what first drew him to the Himalayas. Kenton has also raised millions of pounds for charity, and in sharing his extraordinary stories about what one individual can achieve, he inspired listening guests to make a push for higher summits when fighting for change.
Following Kenton’s accounts of standing on the top of the world, the mountaineering theme continued into the auction: the host of ‘money can’t buy’ experiences included a piece of rock from the summit of Everest, donated by Kenton himself.
When the auctions – both silent and public – opened, bidding was intense and exciting. Engaged in the cause Adrian had set so movingly in context, guests were raring to bid for items as diverse as a Luxury Villa holiday in Bali, Banksy artwork, and private Strictly Come Dancing lessons. Some items attracted a frenzy of bidding – Usain Bolt’s signed running shoe was a particular favourite.
Attracting over 200 attendees, the events sponsors included KPMG, NatWest and ICG Medical, bringing together the City’s top players to make a lasting difference.