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The Norwood Annual Dinner has been a staple in the charity world social calendar for more than 200 years.
This year, with no possibility for 1,000 people to gather in the Grand Ballroom of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel as usual, the charity had to “reimagine” this glittering occasion and make it virtual for the first time.
Thanks to the amazing line-up of celebrities who took part, a record number of more than 4,000 people from across the world tuned in to watch Norwood’s Annual Dinner Reimagined, dwarfing the number of attendees at previous conventional Dinners.
The final fundraising figure has not yet been calculated but organisers are confident that this too will match or surpass previous efforts.
The virtual charity event of the year can still be viewed at norwooddinner.com.
As well as being shown first-hand the extraordinary impact of Norwood’s work on vulnerable children and families, and people with learning disabilities or autism, guests were entertained by a truly spectacular line-up of celebrities and entertainers, who all donated their services for the charity.
Some, even had more personal reasons for taking part.
Just a few weeks ago, host Jonathan Ross had never even heard of Norwood but a chance encounter with the extraordinary Talya Jacobson – who has mild quadriplegic cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and severe visual impairment and has been supported by the charity – changed all of that.
Jonathan first got involved with Norwood after being moved by the sight of Talya cycling down his street on her bright red tricycle singing at the top of her voice while raising money for Norwood.
So taken was Jonathan with Talya’s verve and love of life that he took to Twitter to find out who she was and what she was doing. This was the start of a very special friendship.
Since then, Jonathan has nominated Norwood as his chosen charity on ITV’s The Chase Celebrity Special, coming within seconds of winning £100,000, and also agreed to host the charity’s Annual Dinner Reimagined, which featured specially filmed contributions from a glittering line-up of celebrities including Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, Craig David, Lewis Capaldi, Michael McIntyre, Dame Darcey Bussell, Craig David, Lulu and Rob Rinder among others.
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