I had such an incredible evening at the Global Gift Gala in London on Friday. It’s heart-warming to see so many people turn out to support philanthropy.
I was honoured to receive the 2018 Global Gift Philanthropist Award. I accepted the award on behalf of all the wonderful people I have the joy to work with at Virgin Unite and Big Change. Those people who strive every single day, to make a positive difference to so many lives.
It was very fitting that it was presented to me by my lovely friend Princess Beatrice, who has been there to support me all along the journey with our charity Big Change. She ran her first marathon in a green tutu, has competed in several triathlons, climbed the highest mountain in Europe and even hiked to the summit of an active volcano to help raise funds for Big Change.
Our philosophy at Big Change is: “Growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone to achieve bold ambitions. Magic happens when you do it with others.”
The Global Gift Foundation is a great example of how people can come together to create change. It was set up by entrepreneur Maria Bravo and actress Eva Longoria to support amazing projects from all around the world and bring hope for the future. It was wonderful to hear they have recently launched the Global Gift House, a centre for children with rare diseases in Marbella.
The fundraising event was supported by Victoria and her son Brooklyn Beckham, and saw incredible performances by the incredible Alesha Dixon, Melanie C and Gary Dourdan (if you haven’t heard him sing you really should check him out). My personal highlight was the wonderful Alfie Boe and the Rays of Sunshine Choir singing Bring Me Sunshine. Funds raised on the evening are donated to Rays of Sunshine - an award-winning UK children’s charity that brightens up the lives of seriously ill children in the UK.
There were so many stories of positive change in the room at the Global Gift Gala. It fills me with hope to be surrounded by inspiring individuals, organisations and businesses, all genuinely working to bring about a positive change in this world.