17 November 2010
More than 250 ladies from across Scotland gathered at the newly revamped Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Bonfire Night and raised more than £40,000 for the annual Ladies’ Lunch event in aid of children’s health charity Action Medical Research.
The charity funds vital work to benefit sick babies and children and is currently supporting research projects based in both Glasgow and Edinburgh. The event was hosted by BBC TV presenter and ‘mumtrepreneur’ Saira Khan, who first found fame on The Apprentice.
Saira said: I was delighted to be asked back again to host this amazing lunch in aid of Action Medical Research. I am so amazed by the generosity of the audience, to raise over £40,000 at a lunch is absolutely fantastic.
“As a parent I want my children to be happy and healthy, I can't begin to comprehend the anxiety families must feel when a baby or child is seriously ill, but I know there are so many wonderful people out there who have great ideas or are carrying out amazing research to help stop such suffering.
“Action Medical Research has achieved so much in its time but there still remains a lot to learn about what triggers some childhood diseases, how to prevent them and the best way to treat them once they occur. I am privileged to be associated with this charity and with so many positive people whose support will help the charity continue its potentially life-saving work,” she added.
There was a fabulous auction as part of the evening which included a painting by artist Gerard Burns, who was one of the three male top table guests invited to the lunch this year.
The ladies were entertained by a Michael Buble tribute act, and Feeva – a trio of girl singers who rounded off the party, Friday Night Fever style, guaranteeing a good time was had by all.
Among the charity volunteers looking after guests was Glasgow mum Carole Muir, 45, and her daughter Carole Grieve. Both Carole junior and her elder brother Andrew were born prematurely in the 1980s after their mother was found to have a serious kidney condition which eventually led to her needing a transplant.
Carole says: “Both babies could almost fit in my hand when they were born and the first time I had to bath them was so frightening. Because of what we’ve been through, my family knows and appreciates just how important medical research is. This charity’s work around premature birth and developing treatments to help sick babies is particularly close to home for us.”
Work in Scotland currently being funded by Action Medical Research includes support for a project to develop a potential new vaccine against a bacterium which can cause meningitis and pneumonia.
Professor Timothy Mitchell, from the Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre, a world-leading expert in his field, is part of the research team developing the new nasal spray vaccine.
Meanwhile, in Edinburgh the charity is supporting research into Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes severe disability, and the development of a new computer system to diagnose visual field defects in children.
Janet Balcombe, Community Fundraising Manager with Action Medical Research, said: We are so privileged to have some fabulous ladies on our Glasgow Committee who once again have worked so hard to put together this amazing lunch to raise funds for Action Medical Research.
“This is the largest fundraiser of its kind in the charity and has raised over £500,000 in the last 10 years. It means so much to us that we are so well supported both in attendance at the lunch and by those donating prizes and sponsorship. We were so grateful to Gerard Burns who attended the lunch and donated a beautiful painting to the auction and to Hendricks Gin who sponsored the reception.”
Notes to editors:
For further information, interview requests and photographs please contact:
Claudine Powell, Communications Manager
Tel: 01403 327478
Action Medical Research is the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. For nearly 60 years we have been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs, including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy. Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:
- tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
- helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
- targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.