Top industry figures from the mobile industry dug deep into their pockets this week at a charity auction to support Get Connected, which provides a confidential, free, national helpline for young people up to 25.
One generous guest successfully bid £6,800 for tickets to see Rihanna on Wednesday night (2 March 2011). The Bollywood-themed bidding frenzy closed shortly before midnight at the Grange Hotel, St. Paul’s, London.
Competition between guests pushed the total amount raised on the night to an incredible £163,000 for the UK’s national helpline for young people. Notable guests included: Charles Dunstone, chairman of CPW Group and chairman of Get Connected; Andrew Harrison, CEO, Best Buy Europe; Matt Stringer, MD, The Carphone Warehouse; Simon Stanford, MD, Samsung UK; Jon French, executive director for UK, Ireland and South Africa, HTC; and Nathan Vautier, MD, Sony Ericsson UK and Ireland. ‘Best Friend’ and supporter Daniel Radcliffe, sent a personal message from New York where he is performing on Broadway.
Other celebrities including Stephen Fry and Liz Hurley also sent messages of support to the charity. Among the most popular auction lots, donated by various industry suppliers, included: VIP tickets to see Jamiroquai at the O2 (£5,600); VIP tickets to the Monaco Grand Prix (£4,500; and dinner for 12 at the Dorchester (£5,200) Carphone Warehouse has been a major supporter of Get Connected since its inception.
Andrew Harrison, CEO of Best Buy Europe (pictured) said: ‘This auction is a really important thing for us and it is great that the guests here tonight are helping Get Connected to move forward and achieve the growth it needs to meet the demand for its service in this economic climate.’ Fiona Clark, chief executive of Get Connected commented: ‘We are overjoyed with the support we’ve received this evening. Critically, these generous donations will support the most marginalised in society and ensure that all young people have access to free, friendly support when they need it most.’
Get Connected is the free, confidential helpline service, supporting and directing young people to the help they need, whatever the problem. In the UK, there are over 13,000 services designed to help young people, offering support on everything from sexuality to suicide.
Get Connected helps young people navigate through all the options available and they can access the service by telephone, email and webchat. Last year, Get Connected volunteers connected over 20,000 young people to services all over the country, for free. The proceeds of the auction go directly towards training volunteers, expanding the service (including the launch of a new ‘text’ channel) and raising awareness amongst vulnerable young people.