The NSPCC Gala Opera

NSPCC Gala Performance of '  La Fanciulla del West'

NSPCC Gala Performance of 'La Fanciulla del West'











Francesca Valli, who like me is a member of the City of London Business Board for the NSPCC (well not like me as she has been on it for years and is the co-founder of the Gherkin Challenge, I only joined at the end of 2013).

Anyway, the wonderful Francesca has invited me to the NSPCC Gala Performance of Puccini's opera 'La Fanciulla del West' at Holland Park this evening, as her guest to thank me for my work on this year's Gherkin Challenge steering committee. I am delighted, both with the sentiment and the opportunity to spend time with Francesca at an event in such beautiful surroundings.

We have an absolutely wonderful time! Thanks Francesca. 

Gherkin Challenge Steering Committee - February 13th 2014

Tonight Adam Lewis from the NSPCC’s Event Team presents the time line leading up to September 7th and we discuss how the committee can help enroll participants into the event. Lots is discussed, including a special event edition of my ‘360˚ at the Gherkin’ - as we ( are planning a second edition following the first one selling out I had offered to provide copies for everyone who reaches the top. Everyone liked the idea, and tonight we examine ways of sponsoring the books and at how we are going to let people know – if they just get it in their goody bags when they reach the top then the book is not helping encourage enrolment or incentivising fundraising so they need to know in advance. Various options are discussed.  We also look at overalls event budgets (Steering Committee Chair Francesca Valli is particularly exacting in her demand for minute details) – I am learning such a lot about fund raising!


Each member of the London Business Board promises to send details out of the event to their networks once registration opens. It would just be fantastic if the building was bursting to the seams of people reaching the top, enjoying the views knowing every step they’ve taken on the way up has helped children – I reaffirm (to myself and out loud) my personal commitment to helping make the event a massive success for all concerned – both those raising the funds and those benefitting. The rest of the committee does the same. What a team!! We are going to make this happen!

Johnny and Ben after completing the 2012 fundraiser.

Johnny and Ben after completing the 2012 fundraiser.