Carry Field, who has been an integral member of St Wilfrid's [email protected] Committee, kindly wrote this press release. This year's event was her last [email protected] and we are very grateful for her amazing efforts in helping to organise the event and for making each year such a success. 

St Wilfrid’s Hospice’s annual [email protected] event returned last Friday with an auction and lunch raising more than £95,000 in just a few hours.

Guests were greeted with refreshments and flowers in the late-May sunshine before Bank Holiday weekend. Butlers were available for every table, drawn from volunteers and a few members of staff. The hospice’s Nursing Director, Colin Twomey, also helped serve tables at the exclusive event.

A stunning marquee to host the guests - as well as a delicious three-course lunch - was provided by Super Event and was eventually filled with more than 330 attendees who were regaled by master of ceremonies  Roger Dakin, in what was a lively, laughter-filled event.

Many guests were prominent members of the community and long-term supporters of the hospice and good causes in East Sussex.

The hospice's work was introduced by CEO David Scott-Ralphs in a short speech outlining the success of Closer to You and how the hospice continues to meet the high demand for its services thanks to the generosity of the local community. 

Guests also heard from the young widow of a former patient, who spoke most movingly of the care, support and compassion she and her family had received from the hospice.

An online silent auction - which attracted a great deal of attention - was open to all in the fortnight preceding the lunch. There were also numerous lots on offer in the live auction which were available exclusively to the guests at the lunch.

The annual lunches in aid of St Wilfrid’s Hospice have been running for nine years. They have always been run by a committee made up of St Wilfrid's hospice volunteers (with two members of staff now on the team) and they benefit from the goodwill felt for the hospice within Eastbourne and East Sussex.

The professional MC donates his services for the day and many of the items sold in the auction and raffle are donated by a wide network of supporters.

Musicians from Eastbourne College delighted the assembled guests with some foot-tapping music prior to the lunch and pupils from The Eastbourne Academy and Eastbourne College worked as waiting staff for the lunch guests alongside staff from Super Event.

On behalf of all staff and volunteers, patients and families, St Wilfrid's would like to extend a huge thank you to those who helped at the event, provided organisational support and took part on the day.

A special thanks is reserved for the amazing efforts of the [email protected] Committee, without whom the day would not have been possible or nearly as successful.

Photo gallery from the day: