‘Speechless’ – £15,000 raised as dinner with Masterchef winner gets standing ovation

Woman in orange dress and man in suit, stand up to present. People at tables are clapping

Organisers were left ‘speechless’ as an amazing £15,000 was raised during an evening of culinary exploration when the Birmingham community came together to support Acorns Children’s Hospice.

Nearly 90 people joined the event to experience a dinner designed by TV Masterchef winner Dan Lee alongside a raffle and an auction to support the charity’s vital care for children with life limiting or life threatening conditions.

Members of the community and local businesses contributed a huge selection of prizes and gave their time to organise the sparkling event in support of Acorns and the care and support it provides to local families.

The Dine with Dan Lee event was organised by Acorns Business Ambassador Harriet Giles and Acorns Vice President Paul Cadman.

Harriet said: “I am still speechless and on cloud nine. The event was incredible and was a small idea that grew into an overwhelming evening of fun, laughter and some tears.

“I want thank the many people for their support in making this event happen and raise much needed funds for Acorns and the care for local children and their families.”

A big thank you to everyone who supported the event

The top auction prize was a private chef experience for six people with Dan Lee, who won the 2021 season of BBC TV’s Masterchef: The Professionals. Other auction and raffle prizes included a night at The Grand Hotel, a premium stay at Radisson Blue, and a host of dining and drink vouchers, from venues such as Couch, Eat Vietnam, Aluna, Zen Metro, The Wilderness and Alberts Schloss.

It took place at University College Birmingham (UCB) which also added a top-up donation of more than £4,000 to take the final amount to £15,000.

A top-class menu featured Dan’s TV winning dish of Hainanese chicken with chilli sambal. The food was cooked by new culinary students of UCB who received a standing ovation at the end of the evening.

Room of people sitting around tables, chatting with each other

Abi Coulson, Senior Partnerships Fundraising Manager for Acorns, said: “It was an incredible evening and thank you so much to everyone who gave so generously and helped make this event a huge success.

“It’s a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the community comes together to be stronger for local children and families. The money raised will make sure families facing unimaginable journeys will never go through them alone.”

Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions and support for their families. In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 700 children across the Birmingham and wider West Midlands, and almost 1,000 families, including those who are bereaved.

Acorns needs around £27,000 each day to provide its children’s hospice care, with two thirds of that amount coming from generous donations and fundraising by the local community. Find out how you can help Acorns be stronger together for local children and families by visiting our Stronger Together campaign.

For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team at news@acorns.org.uk.

Notes to editors:

Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words ‘terminal’ or ‘terminally ill’ in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the conditions that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words ‘life limited’, ‘life limiting’, or ‘life threatening’. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your communications when referring to Acorns Children’s Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.