Young entrepreneurs talk passion and possibilities while two Lords do battle over Brexit, Corbyn and a defecting chicken

6 March 2019

Last week was particularly eventful for Norwood, with two networking opportunities highlighting the different ways the charity appeals to its supporters through innovative and engaging fundraising events.

On Thursday night (28 February), nearly 200 future business leaders attended Young Norwood Business Entrepreneurs at The White Collar Factory in Old Street, London. The inaugural event saw Young Norwood’s new, informal, “loosened tie” approach open with an inspiring talk from Jodeci – a young man who gave a moving account of how Norwood helped him turn his life around.

This was followed by a panel discussion with a group of entrepreneurs (Chelsie Collins from Blondies Kitchen, Claudine Collins from MediaCom, Alex Petrides from Allplants and Josh White from CanO Water) who rose above the buzzing atmosphere to dispense advice before taking questions from the floor.

In the can-do spirit of the evening, moderator Nick Hugh, Chief Executive Officer at Telegraph Media Group, told the assembled crowd: “I’ve learnt that entrepreneurs don’t go to business school.” And the one thing that all the panellists could be found to agree on was that success will largely be down to a combination of confidence, willingness to take risks and, above all, passion for your brand and product.

The following day saw guests take their place at the tables of the Landmark Hotel’s private ballroom for a Business Breakfast with the opportunity to “start your morning with fresh opportunities”.

Here, guests were shown a film highlighting the life-changing work Norwood has done for Annie and her family, before the morning’s main event saw an intriguing and often amusing on-stage conversation between the Tory peer and Times columnist Lord Daniel Finkelstein OBE and the Labour peer Lord Maurice Glasman.

As the two Lords threw topics back and forth – from football to Brexit to antisemitism in the Labour Party – there were unexpected laughs and a camaraderie that the 175 business leaders in the room might not have expected from two people with often diametrically opposed views.

Highlights of the conversation were numerous and included Lord Glasman’s answer to the question of how he could support a Corbyn-led Labour Party (“I still supported Spurs when they were managed by George Graham, and I wasn’t happy about that either”) to Lord Finkelstein’s story about the time he hired an out of work actor to follow the then Prime Minister Tony Blair around dressed as a chicken in order to critique his reluctance to debate John Major on television.

“The problem was the more this young man saw of Blair the more impressed he was. I ended up getting a phone call saying, ‘I think the chicken has defected,’” Lord Finkelstein recounted.

The events combined to raise more than £100,000 for Norwood.



Notes for editors

Further information

For further information please contact Norwood press team:

By email:

By phone: 020 8420 6866 or 07736 458532

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.

Norwood supports over 4,000 people every year, giving them the tools they need to live the most fulfilling lives they can.

Norwood works with 56 local authorities, delivering wide-ranging services in a variety of residential accommodation and supported living services, short-break facilities and family centres across London and the South East.

Through a workforce of over 2,500 – made up of 1,250 staff and 1,500 volunteers – we provide the highest-quality care to transform the lives of children and their families, and vulnerable adults.

It costs £34m a year to deliver Norwood’s services, £12m of which must be raised from voluntary donations.

About Young Norwood

Young Norwood (YN) was set up in 1993 and offers a programme of high profile social and business networking events, while giving people the opportunity to support Norwood’s vital work. Its committees are drawn from the following industry sectors: YN Business, Finance and Entrepreneurs; YN Challenges; YN Lawyers; YN Property; YN Presents.

YN is also involved in much of Norwood’s direct work. Including:

  • Actively feeding into the organisation’s Volunteering and Community Engagement programme.
  • Running a buddying scheme where YN members and young adults with learning disabilities enjoy a range of activities.