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A busy week for Rugby Portobello Trust

Laura Gavin 19 September 2017

Fundraising concerts, celebrations and art auctions marked a packed week for our London services at Rugby Portobello Trust.

Art for Grenfell

Last week auction house Sotheby’s announced a very special art sale, including works by famous names Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and Wolfgang Tillmans, to raise funds for families affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Held on Monday 16 October at New Bond Street, the auction will also see art by Tacita Dean, Yinka Shonibare and Rachel Whiteread, amongst many other leading artists who have donated pieces in support of those who survived the Grenfell tragedy.

Rugby Portobello Trust will distribute the money raised from the sale of the artworks to the families affected, as CEO Mark Simms explained:

“Thank you on behalf of The Rugby Portobello Trust and on behalf of the families and wider community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The Rugby Portobello Trust has pledged to support everyone who survived this disaster and to ensure all Grenfell residents receive the support they need. The monies raised by this auction will be delivered, in their entirety, directly to the former residents by The Rugby Portobello Trust.”

Grenfell Benefit Concert inspires togetherness at Cadogan Hall 

It was a spectacular night on Sunday as stars of the opera and classical music scene came together in support of the Grenfell families.

The beautiful Cadogan Hall venue was packed out, with attendees including around 75 former residents, whose tickets were funded for free by members of the public.

The concert, featuring pieces by Puccini, and extracts from Tristan und Isolde and Dido and Aeneas, was presented by BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawney, who said:

“We hope that the rich beauty of music can be of some use in such bleak times. It's what we do and we present tonight's programme with love, compassion and sincerity."

The fundraiser was organised by Young Artist Nazan Fikret of the Garsington Opera, who put out the idea initially on Facebook, before it gathered momentum – and a fair few famous names who wanted to support the people most affected by the fire.

All proceeds went to the Rugby Portobello Trust and Grief Encounter, who have been supporting the survivors since the tragic events of June this year.

Volunteer celebration

Last week also saw a big celebration for all our volunteers at RPT, both those who worked with us during the Grenfell response and our regular volunteers who support us in everything from fundraising to mentoring clients and helping out at Homework Club and Football Academy.

Around 100 volunteers and staff attended at Rugby Portobello Trust’s premises on Walmer Street. Volunteer Manager Catherine Moss said:

“It was a lovely event in celebration of our volunteers, who are incredibly important to us. I always say we have a cocktail of skills – some of our volunteers are great at engaging with challenging clients, some are physics teachers, some are retired professionals and some are only 17 years old.

“We also met so many excellent new volunteers during the emergency at Grenfell and it was an honour to work together. The whirl and breakneck pace of early response soon turned into an organised plan as new and existing volunteers offered practical support and kindness, and all showed the kind of sensitivity that is characteristic of our outstanding volunteers.”