Norwood raises the roof sky high at 19th annual Property Lunch

3 July 2018

Devoted father Laurence Smith spoke movingly about a once-in-a-lifetime cycling trip with his severely disabled son Jeremy at the Norwood Property Lunch on Friday 29 June, which raised £550,000 for the Jewish charity.

The event, held at London Hilton on Park Lane, saw over 750 guests from the property industry come together to celebrate industry leaders while raising vital funds for the community-based charity.

Lead sponsors Howard Kennedy, Derwent London and Savills, as well as long-standing media partner Property Week; were joined by awards sponsor, JLL; brochure and guest list sponsor, Lawrie Cornish; reception sponsor, The Office Group; and auction and raffle sponsor, Rhodium.

Graham Kaye, Howard Kennedy Partner said: “Norwood’s work helping vulnerable children and their families is something Howard Kennedy is proud to support.”

Charlie Green and Olly Olson, Co-Founders of The Office Group, said: “The Property sector has this incredible network that can really make a difference. Financial support is everything for a charity and to be able to support a charity that is close to their heart benefits everybody.”

Laurence and his son Jeremy, who has cerebral palsy, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), epilepsy and profound learning disabilities recently returned from a 160-mile Norwood cycling challenge through Central Europe.

Laurence worked with a specialist bicycle-maker to produce an adapted bike, with an attachment to Jeremy’s wheelchair, so that he could take on the challenge with his son. They were part of a group of 10 riders who have so far raised £15,000 for Norwood.

Laurence spoke about the reason behind this epic journey, saying: “Jeremy and I cycled 160 miles in three days through four countries in Central Europe, with Jeremy sat up front in a special wheelchair and me peddling like a mad man behind. We did it because I wanted to give something back to the people who look after Jeremy and I hope will do so after we are gone.”

Speaking in his son Jeremy’s voice, Laurence said: “It’s important for me to show what Norwood means to me. They give me more than just adequate care. By that I mean, they do more than keep me safe, hygienic, fed and medicated to control my fits and ease my scoliosis. They help me lead a life that’s a bit closer to the kind of lives my able bodied peers lead.”

The event also saw a panel of experts from the property sector, comprising Simon Allford, Phil Coffey, and Alison Brooks engage in a spirited debate on key problems and opportunities facing London’s residential and commercial sectors. The discussion was chaired by world-renowned entrepreneur, author and academic in the field of architecture and design, Peter Murray.

In the awards section of the afternoon, The Office Group won the Commercial Award, Ronson Capital took home the Residential Award and Sir George Iacobescu CBE was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Norwood’s Property Lunch has now run for 19 years and has raised more than £7.5 for Norwood. It is just one of a full calendar of corporate events the charity runs every year. The next is the Distressed Investing Dinner, to be held in a Central London location on Tuesday, 4 October.


Notes for editors

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email:

By phone: 020 8420 6866 or 079 2852 5100

More images are available upon request

About Norwood

Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.

Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the Patronage of Her Majesty The Queen.

It helps children and adults to maximise their potential at home, at school and throughout their lives, through personalised services designed to enable choice.

Each year Norwood needs £35m to keep its services running, £12m of which comes through voluntary donations. Norwood works with 56 local authorities and has over 55 sites across London and the South East.

Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London thanks to the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.