In early November, our Patron Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall hosted a fundraiser in support of Switchback at the magnificent Grand Hall in the Old Bailey. The event was a huge culinary and fundraising success, far exceeding our fundraising targets.
One theme ran through the whole evening: sustainability. Firstly, with Hugh. His devotion to environmental sustainability and his campaigning for change made him the perfect host for the event. Secondly, with Switchback itself. We seek long-term and committed funding so that we can be a reliable and stable presence for our Trainees. And thirdly, sustainability of impact. We want to make real, lasting change both in the lives of our Trainees and across the justice system, making it more human and more effective.
The event included speeches from Alice, Switchback’s CEO, Ben Summerskill, Switchback Trustee, a live auction with Hugh as a lively and encouraging auctioneer, and of course a delicious dinner crafted from produce all sourced within 100 miles of London. Current and former Switchback Trainees attended the event and welcomed guests as they arrived.
Despite the nights growing longer and colder, there was no shortage of warmth and generosity in the Grand Hall. Guests were invited to bid in both live and silent auctions on lots ranging from special works of art from contemporary artists D*Face and Phyllida Barlow, unique experiences like stays at River Cottage hosted by Hugh himself, and much more. With Hugh as our auctioneer, the bids came flying in.
Hugh, who along with River Cottage Executive Head Chef Gelf Alderson created the menu for the evening, said:
”It was a great pleasure to put together the menu for last night’s fundraising dinner at the Old Bailey, and we are delighted that so much was raised for Switchback. It was a fantastic event and I am very proud to have been a part of it.
Speaking on stage and reflecting on his role as a Trustee at Switchback, Ben Summerskill said:
”Switchback is one of the few organisations in Trainees’ lives that, when things get difficult, they will never walk away. And that means that the demonstrable and measurable outcomes that Switchback delivers for these young people are distinctly different from many other organisations in the sector. And that’s what makes Switchback so very special.
We would like to give special thanks to Hugh and River Cottage, Wren Kitchens, the Old Bailey, and all our partners who contributed to the evening. With their support, every penny from the event goes toward helping young men live life differently after prison.
You can read what River Cottage said about the event here and what Wren Kitchens said here. If you’d like to stay up to date with our work and future events, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media with the links at the bottom of the page.