Help the Hungry: Stephen Fry and Phoebe Waller-Bridge see St James gala raise more than £250,000

Abbianca Makoni
·3-min read
Phoebe Waller-Bridge joins The Fayre Of St James’s Christmas Carol Concert (Quintessentially Foundation)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge joins The Fayre Of St James’s Christmas Carol Concert (Quintessentially Foundation)

Stephen Fry and Phoebe Waller-Bridge were among the stars to delight and entertain at this year’s Fayre of St James gala as the event went online to raise funds for our Help the Hungry appeal partner, The Felix Project.

The Christmas event based in London’s Piccadilly raised almost £280,000 from ticket sales for the anti-food waste charity, which has delivered vital food supplies to those in need throughout the pandemic alongside our campaign. The gala also raised money for The Childhood Trust, which funds grassroots charities supporting children living in poverty.

Those who streamed the event took in performances from a host of entertainers including Waller-Bridge, the Golden Globe-winning writer and star of BBC comedy-drama Fleabag, who gave a reading of the 1950s festive song, I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.

The event saw some perform from St James’ church in the heart of the capital, while others joined in from the comfort of their homes due to coronavirus regulations.

Emeli Sande, James Bay and the London Youth Choir each performed on Tuesday for the Quintessentially Foundation’s first-ever virtual concert.

They joined other celebrities including Simon Cowell, Jack Whitehall, Poppy Delevingne and Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries star, who all gave a reading.

Mr Fry, who hosted the event, told The Independent: “It is terrific to be supporting these charities during Christmas, we’re aware of how difficult this year has been for those already disadvantaged by all kinds of problems.

"It is wonderful that Londoners and all those across the country have come together in this city to remember those who need us most.”

Actor Cressida Bonas said she was “delighted” to be able to support charities “who are helping those most vulnerable in our society in a year when food poverty and insecurity has affected so many”.

British-Georgian musician Katie Melua, who also performed on the night, praised the work achieved by Felix during the pandemic, adding: “I think in Covid, charities like these are completely priceless; the fact that the Felix Project is collecting surplus food all around the city and distributing it, it’s a very special thing.”

Working with charity partners Felix and With Compassion, our Help the Hungry campaign has helped to deliver hundreds of thousands of meals to those in need.

And while the cash raised by the gala exceeded the £250,000 target set for the evening, organisers urged the public to continue to bid on a silent auction of luxury items that is running alongside the event.

Auction lots include a weekend retreat at the Daylesford Organic Farm, The Wild Rabbit and Bamford Wellness Spa, a trip to Scotland with an 18-hole round at the world-class Gleneagles golf course, and a Fortnum and Mason hamper.

This November and December we will be delivering food directly to 1,000 people a day through our partner With Compassion. Please donate here to help us do all we can to ensure no one goes hungry this Christmas.

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