Supporters, trustees, partners and staff gathered at the beautiful and historic Mercers’ Hall to celebrate Inspire!’s achievements over our first decade. Guests were treated to a gourmet meal and a selection of entertainment, including tricks from a close-up magician and live swing music.
Our guests weren’t just there to celebrate, however: they were there to help raise vital funds to support Inspire!’s work in Hackney and beyond. By buying tickets, entering our silent auction, purchasing copies of our new poetry anthology or simply donating funds, our wonderful supporters raised an astonishing total of over £23,000 in just one night!
Over the course of the evening, guests heard from a number of speakers. First, Inspire!’s Director, Jonny Boux, took to the stage to thank guests for their support and reflect on the many ways our programmes have helped local young people to fulfil their potential over the past decade. His speech also looked to the future: as Inspire! continues to evolve, our second decade promises to offer even more practical and engaging programmes for schools and their students.
The second speaker of the night was Bob Timms, formerly of the City of London Corporation and one of Inspire!’s founders. His speech touched on the forces behind Inspire!’s creation: the heightened need among Hackney’s young people to find fulfilling careers against a backdrop of deprivation and generational unemployment. In founding Inspire!, he said, “we were selling a very upbeat message to potential funders, and it is gratifying to see that our optimism was well-founded . . . Congratulations to the entire Inspire! team on making a dream come true.”
Next to take to the stage was Tunay Janes, a former student of the Inspired Directions School. As well as reading two of his poems and performing part of a new song, he also spoke of the immense difference the school had made to his life and prospects. His speech and performances earned him a standing ovation. In fact, the impression he made on our guests was so great that many of them sought out his autograph for their newly-purchased copies of the school’s poetry anthology.
The final speaker was Matt Shafer, representing our Gold Sponsor for the evening, Natixis Global Asset Management. His speech brought home how much a charity partnership can mean to the employees of a company, and how a committed corporate partner can truly give back to their local community.
Throughout the evening, guests were invited to bid on a fantastic selection of silent auction lots, generously donated by our supporters and partners. Lots donated included tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a bespoke rapping lesson and recording session, lunch at Polpo Smithfield and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to raise the iconic Tower Bridge! Competition was fierce, and our toastmaster, Craig Haslam, led an exciting live auction for two lots at the end of dinner.
The evening wrapped up with a set from a live swing band, the perfect soundtrack to some last-minute networking!
The event was made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters: Natixis Global Asset Management, our Gold Sponsor; Linklaters LLP, our Silver Sponsor; and UBS and Niu Solutions, our Bronze Sponsors. Without their help, and that of our many other supporters, who donate time, energy and resources, Inspire! would not be able to continue its vital work helping local young people build meaningful future lives.
Director Jonny Boux said, “On behalf of staff and trustees I would like to say a huge thank you to partners and friends of Inspire! who helped us to mark our 10th anniversary in style! We are truly grateful for their tremendous support and generosity, both in supporting our work throughout the year and helping us to raise valuable funds on the night.”
Hackney and its neighbouring boroughs have seen great change over the past decade, but local young people need our support as much as ever to navigate an ever-diversifying and evolving labour market. So while Inspire! may have finished its first decade, there’s plenty more to do and exciting developments to come in our next ten years.
To find out more about any aspect of our work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.