The Norwood Dinner Reimagined

Verity London

Norwood transforms the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and their families, adults with learning disabilities and autism, and children with special educational needs. The pressures of the pandemic meant there was an even more urgent need for funds. Yet with the usual fundraising dinner cancelled, Norwood approached us for an alternative to attract an audience, encourage donations and raise awareness of Norwood’s work. The ‘Norwood Dinner Reimagined’ was born; a 55 minute online event packed with celebrities, broadcast ‘as live’ to pre-registered supporters one evening in November. An astonishing £3 million was raised. Hosted by TV presenter Jonathan Ross, the magazine style format included exclusive performances from Lulu, Lewis Capaldi and Craig David. The show also featured a special routine from comedian Michael McIntyre, films fronted by Judge Rob Rinder and newscaster Natasha Kaplinsky, and other big names, including Dame Darcy Bussell and campaigner Katie Piper – with plenty of calls to donate in the mix. Three powerful appeal films told the stories of families supported by Norwood. Over 5,400 households enjoyed the show, and the fantastic feedback demonstrated how they were given a compelling reason and practical way to engage with Norwood’s work and donate to its cause.