On the 2nd of December Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope brought together its supporters for a wonderful evening of carols and candlelight in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey. More than 700 people attended the Carol Service which raised an amazing £12,240 for the children in ELoH’s projects – and donations are still coming in.
It was a moving and beautiful carol service that left few untouched. The service began with a lovely solo by Pollyanna Hope, ELoH’s inspiration and light. It was followed by carols led by the choir of St Margaret’s, and readings by a number of special guests: Joanna Lumley OBE, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, and Christopher Whinney (great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens), ELoH patron Hugh Monro and Lance Corporal Pienaar.
On top of this, three very special speeches were made by ELoH’s co-founders Sarah Hope and Victoria Bacon, and Tom Dannat, the Chief Executive of ELoH’s partner organisation Street Child. Sarah began by telling the story of Mariatu, a young amputee who tragically lost her life during the Ebola crisis. Mariatu’s death shook the ELoH team deeply and it was unanimously agreed that the Carol Service was going to be dedicated to her. Sarah gave a very personal statement about Mariatu and the life she deserved but was denied.
After Sarah’s speech, Tom Dannatt told the audience about the partnership between ELoH and Street Child, through which hundreds of child amputees in West Africa have been able to access medical, educational and psychological support. He talked about the particular vulnerability of child amputees and the many children who still need our support.
Lastly, Vee got on the podium and spoke about the real difference that ELoH’s supporters have made and will continue to make for children in some of the poorest communities in the world:
“It is a privilege to be here, in this beautiful candlelit Church, as we remember children across the world who live lonely, sad, difficult lives because they can’t walk. After tonight we are going to give so many of them not just a leg, but a smile – and life! That is something to be really proud of – we are going to light up their lives.”
And how true this was! The £12,240 raised on the night allows us to enrol 72 new children into our projects and provide for them for one year. It has the potential to transform their lives – providing each of them with a prosthetic limb, school fee for a year, and business support so their families can pay for their ongoing education.
The money will have a truly life-changing effect for some of the most vulnerable children in the world and we want to send our warmest thank you to everyone who made this possible: our wonderful sponsor PLMR, the team at St Margaret’s Church, our readers, the volunteers on the night, and not the least, our wonderful supporters – without your generous support ELoH would simply not be able carry out its important work. Thank you all so very much!