More than £10,000 is heading to the Helena Kennedy Foundation after the third annual FE Week charity auction.
The great and the good from the world of FE were at Birmingham’s five-star Hyatt Hotel on Tuesday, November 19, for a three-course meal, auction and raffle.
A 130-strong guestlist, including Association of Colleges (AoC) chief executive Martin Doel, was entertained by young music students.
Daniel Taylor, from Rotherham College, opened proceedings with covers including Sammy Davis Junior’s Mr Bojangles and Nina Simone’s Feeling good.
West Nottinghamshire College acoustic guitarist Pat Cunningham played during dinner before Middlesbrough College seven-piece band Hollow closed the show.
Meanwhile, students from Solihull College once again provided the floral displays that were sold off at the end of the night, supported by NCFE and Tribal, to boost fund- raising efforts.
Among those in the audience were David Hughes and Stewart Segal, chief executives of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, respectively, and 157 Group executive director Lynne Sedgmore.
They were joined by a host of principals, such as West Nottinghamshire’s Asha Khemka, East Kent’s Graham Razey and Rotherham’s Gill Alton.
They were all in town for the AoC Conference, next door in the International Convention Centre.
Among the items that went under the hammer were afternoon teas with Helena Kennedy herself and former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.
But the night’s biggest earner was a daredevil acrobatic flying session, organised by City College Norwich whose principal, Corienne Peasgood, agreed to double the item after two opposing bidders locked horns at the unusual figure of £810.47. The move meant the two items pulled in £1620.94 for the charity.
And there was also a surprise in store for FE Week editor and auctioneer Nick Linford (pictured right), who was presented with an ambassador’s bowl by foundation chair Dr Ann Limb for his fundraising efforts that have seen FE Week generate more than £30,000 for the charity in three years.
“It was a real honour, not to mention quite a surprise, to get the award as I think organising these charity auctions and being able to help the foundation is one of the perks of my job,” he said.
“But I’m extremely grateful for the honour — it really topped off a great night of fun, food, music and generous bidding from everyone.”
FE Week reporting on location
The FE Week charity auction not only raises money for the Helena Kennedy Foundation — it also allows the newspaper’s editorial team to put names to some of the sector faces they hear about week in, week out.
The evening provided a brief respite from producing the current Association of Colleges edition of the newspaper from a room on the 24th floor of the Hyatt Hotel.