Build Africa held its inaugural Ball last night, raising an incredible £250,000 for life-changing projects in Kenya and Uganda.
The event at the stunning One Mayfair, an atmospheric deconsecrated church in central London, was attended by 280 guests – featuring celebrities, industry leaders and philanthropists.
Famous faces amongst the crowd included actor Hugh Grant, Downton Abbey stars Allen Leech, Rob James-Collier and Penelope Wilton (a patron of Build Africa), Holby City actors Jimmy Akingbola and Chizzy Akudolu, and Olympic gold medallist Tessa Sanderson. MP Andrew Mitchell, former Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, was also in attendance.
The ball, hosted by award-wining BBC news anchor Clive Myrie, kicked off with a performance by composer Tunde Jegede, and was introduced by Dupe Odunsi, chair of the Fundraising and Events Committee which organised the event.
Downton Abbey stars Rob James-Collier, Penelope Wilton and Allen Leech at the Build Africa Ball © Fireball Ltd
Highlights of the evening included speeches by Robin d'Alessandro, CEO of the Vitol Foundation, and Build Africa Communications Officer Alfred Itunga, who told a compelling personal story about a girl called Mbeke from Kathyoli Primary school in Uganda.
Meanwhile a silent auction (hosted by broadcaster Jonny Gould) kick-started the fundraising from a catalogue of luxury one-off prizes, and renowned magician David Redfearn and the London African Gospel Choir each entertained the crowd.
The climax of the night, however, came when over 90 guests stood up and pledged their support to help Apama Primary School – a rural school in Uganda in desperate need of funding.
Altogether the £250,000 raised from the ball will enable Build Africa to continue its vital work in East Africa, and reach out to more communities than ever before.
We'd like to thank everyone who made the night possible.
We couldn't do it without you!