PICTURE GALLERY: St Wilfrid’s Lunch@

St Wilfrid’s Hospice’s annual Lunch@ event returned last week with an auction and lunch raising more than £89,000.

Guests were greeted with refreshments and flowers in the sunshine before Bank Holiday weekend.

St Wilfrid's Hospice fundraising lunch SUS-180531-102601001

St Wilfrid's Hospice fundraising lunch SUS-180531-102601001

Butlers were available for every table, drawn from volunteers and a few members of staff.

There was a new marquee to host the larger crowd and a three-course lunch, provided by Super Event.

More than 330 people attended and were entertained by master of ceremonies Roger Dakin.

Many guests were prominent members of the community and long-term supporters of the hospice and good causes in East Sussex.

The hospice’s work was introduced by CEO David Scott-Ralphs before a short film about Closer to You - St Wilfrid’s new initiative to bring its work to the further corners of its catchment area.

The guests also heard from the husband of a former patient, who spoke touchingly of the care, support and compassion he and his family had received from the hospice and the importance of donations to St Wilfrid’s.

David Scott-Ralphs said, “This is an absolutely fantastic result and means we will be able to increase our community presence over the next year and reach more people and their families across our whole territory with our specialist care.

“We are hugely grateful to the committee for its efforts.”

An online silent auction was open to all in the fortnight preceding the lunch. There were also numerous lots on offer in the live auction, which were available exclusively to the guests at the lunch.

The annual lunch in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice have been running for eight years.

They have always been run by a volunteer committee made up of St Wilfrid’s hospice volunteers and they benefit from the goodwill felt for the hospice within Eastbourne and East Sussex.

The professional MC donates his services for the day and many of the items sold in the auction and raffle are donated by a wide network of supporters.

Musicians from Eastbourne College provided entertainment and pupils from The Eastbourne Academy and Eastbourne College worked as waiting staff.