Co-Chairman of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch, Michael Hockney, provides an update with news of some amazing fund raising efforts and of plans for 2021.
Let me begin with some really positive news. As you are aware, we raised £167,000 in the first half of 2020, due to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters, even though the 2020 Lunch had to be cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Raising that splendid sum meant we could meet our target of funding eighteen veterans through the Pain Management Programme at the King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health. I can now report that the first eight of these veterans are about to join the six-month Programme.
Since my last article in the October issue of the Livery Newsletter, the LMBCL Committee and our staff team at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity have been hard at work, continuing to take forward the planning of the three options I outlined in October.
What will happen on the day selected for the 2021 Lunch – Thursday 29th April – remains uncertain. However, the 2021 ‘Lunch’ has blossomed into three months of events and activities, some virtual and some, we hope, live.
It all begins on 1st February 2021 with the launch of the On Line Auction. We have over sixty amazing prizes to bid for. The Auction will remain open until 7.00 pm on 29th April.
Then, during the months of February, March and April, we will be re-creating aspects of the Lunch in different ways to provide interactive experiences for our supporters. There will be a series of virtual events on Zoom, including Indian cookery classes by celebrity masterchefs, leading wine experts talking about what wines go with curry, a champagne masterclass, a lesson in cocktail-making and a number of well-known authors talking about their latest books. These will be compered by well-known personalities from the world of stage and broadcast and each Zoom will provide an opportunity to interact with the speakers.
We hope that by making these open to everyone and marketing them widely through social media, we will be able to involve many more people in our fundraising efforts to support military veterans.
You can find more details about the Curry Lunch programme from the middle of January 2021 onwards on the new LMBCL website. Just go on line and type in The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch to find out more. The website will be updated regularly, as the plans for February to April 2021 are launched.
Well, what about the day itself? As I’ve intimated, nothing is certain at the moment. We may be in Guildhall with a lunch on our usual scale or we may hold a series of smaller lunches. If neither of these are possible on the 29th April, we hope to put up
large, open-sided marquees in the Yard, selling take-away curries, and champagne, cocktails, wine and beer. There will be an even bigger group of Livery stalls, our usual Raffle, authors signing their latest books and live music ranging from jazz to classical. There will, as usual, be the opportunity to win a stunning diamond and gold pendant and a superb bespoke British-crafted watch.
What else? Well; a large number of the Livery Companies with Halls are holding their own Curry Lunches and several of the churches in the City are planning lunches or other fundraising activities.
It is so gratifying to see the response from the Livery and the Ward Clubs and from all parts of the City’s business and professional communities. Thank you all. If your Company has not yet signed up as a sponsor, or not yet made the decision to run a stall or put on your own fundraising event, please do so as soon as possible. The LMBCL staff team at ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is there to help in any way it can.
The Lord Mayor has set a target for the 2021 Lunch of contributing £180,000 to support veterans of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Let’s see if we can beat the Lord Mayor’s target and, in so doing, help as many veterans as we can into the world of civilian employment, through funding them on the Pain Management Programme, transforming their lives and those of their families..
In the February 2021 issue of the Livery Newsletter, I will be able to give you the full programme for the 2021 ‘Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch’.
With best regards and keep well.
Court Assistant, The Musicians Livery Company
Co-Chairman, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch