Downton Abbey dinner in Derby

Students at Derby High School have been raising money for charities working in Africa by evoking the glamour of yesteryear

Three charities are set to benefit from a fundraising event held at Derby High School which was inspired by TV show ‘Downton Abbey’. Annie McCandless, 17, came up with the idea for ‘An Evening at Downton’ in her role as charity prefect at the school in Hillsway, Littleover.

More than 50 guests wore evening dress and enjoyed drinks, canapés and a two-course meal as well as entertainment which included music and a performance by singer Emily Cox. The guest of honour was Viscountess Scarsdale who gave an after-dinner talk.

Annie said: “It felt like an intimate dinner party, which was the idea, and I think everyone had a great time. Lady Scarsdale talked about life at Kedleston, which was very interesting and we would like to thank her for attending. It was an event that was a little bit different and it felt very personal. Hopefully, it might be something the school repeats in the future.”

Money raised will be shared between Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale, the Kariandusi Trust and Retrak Ethiopia.

Sentebale was founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help vulnerable children, the forgotten victims of poverty and victims of Lesotho’s AIDS/HIV epidemic. Last year, the school raised more than £2,000 for Sentebale by holding a fashion show and silent auction which included a hat donated by famous milliner Phillip Treacy.

The Kariandusi Trust is a UK charity which is currently building a school in Kenya while Retrak Ethiopia provides street children in Ethiopia with food, medicine and shelter.

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