The 6th December 2018 saw us celebrate our first birthday with a dinner and dance attended by over 100 people. The Averna Restaurant in Claygate hosted a fabulous evening with outstanding food and plenty of drink to wash it down!

Hope shared updates on all of our fundraising activities and was delighted to announce that in our first year we raised in excess of £72,000! This announcement was met with an enormous cheer and shouts of ‘Wow!’ from around the room.

We asked our friend Paul McGregor, who lost his dad to suicide 10 years ago, to come along and he gave an inspiring talk to us. His mantra is to ‘share his hard times to inspire our good times’ and he certainly did that. Thank you, Paul.

We were also delighted that a couple of the schools we have been helping were able to attend and Mike Boddington, head teacher of Esher Church of England High School shared with us a little bit about the difference our support has made to the students at his school. Through the funding we have provided, they have been able to employ a counsellor for an additional day each week meaning the waiting list for counselling services has been drastically reduced. This in turn has raised the morale of the staff in the student wellbeing team who now feel that they are able to make more of a difference to the young people in their care. Great news indeed!

We were joined by Richard (can’t remember his surname!), a friend of ours, who kept the dancing going with his great singing. He was occasionally joined by some of us who wanted to join in ’karaoke style’! We can definitely say that Richard has the best singing voice, and no-one will be taking his place any time soon!

The partying went on well into the night, actually it went on into the next morning, and the last of the revelers left at around 4am! It certainly was a night to remember and there’s no doubt a good time was had by all.