Norwood Annual Dinner Raises over £3 million13 November 2012Press Release The work that Norwood does is fantastic. It’s outstanding and heart-warming that so many people in the community have come together to look after their own – and that speaks volumes. Norwood, one of the UK’s leading Jewish Charities raised over £3.0m at its Annual Dinner last night. The star-studded event was attended by leading celebrities including Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Myleene Klass, The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Chris Evans, Sir Philip Green, Theo Paphitis, Vanessa Feltz, Jeff Brazier and Theresa Villiers MP. Over 1,100 guests donated the much needed funds which will enable Norwood to maintain its services to help vulnerable children, families and people with learning disabilities. The dinner at The Grosvenor House Hotel and was compered by radio and television presenter, Chris Evans. Carol Sopher, a Norwood Honorary Life President and the Dinner Chair, welcomed guests and thanked them for their continued support. She said: "Our Annual Dinner has always been more than a fundraiser. It is an opportunity for us to recognise the life-affirming work Norwood carries out for those who would be lost without it." Andrew Lloyd Webber, one of the world’s most successful and popular composers of musical theatre, was interviewed by classical musician Myleene Klass. Whilst entertaining guests with excerpts from his greatest hits, he spoke about his career achievements, passion for the arts, musical preferences and his love of working with young people. Myleene said: "The work that Norwood does is fantastic. It’s outstanding and heart-warming that so many people in the community have come together to look after their own – and that speaks volumes." Leader of the Opposition, The Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, was the evening’s Guest Speaker. He spoke about the need for charities to pick up the pieces following swingeing Government cuts to public services. He said: "The charitable sector cannot be regarded as a soft touch for cuts whether by central or local government." He praised the Charity for its valuable work and paid special tribute to the ‘extraordinary volunteers’ who contribute so much. Norwood President, Richard Desmond, was delighted with the evening’s success. He said: "This year, more than ever, we appreciate the generosity of Norwood’s committed donors who have shown that, even in this harsh economic climate, they are there for all who rely on Norwood’s support." Chief Executive, Elaine Kerr, told guests: "No input to the future of Norwood is more important than that of the next generation. We must make sure that the Jewish community’s legacy of Norwood is still there as a worthy inheritance for future generations. What Norwood provides must remain, modern, efficient, professional and purposeful – but to achieve this will be a monumental challenge over the next few years." Simon Cowell provided a recorded interview to introduce the appeal film which showcased the breadth and depth of Norwood’s vital support services. He said that Norwood was a well-run charity with the money going to the families and people who actually need it. The main appeal was made by Laura Nymark, whose son Shalev uses Norwood’s supported employment service and was featured in the film. Once again, the entire community was able to follow the evening online via a live blog featuring photos, tweets and video clips posted on Norwood’s main website and it’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages. Take a look at the live blog below to see all the action from the evening.