2019 marks the 25th anniversary since our charity was established and we are excited to announce plans for a high-profile, visually appealing, engaging and, most importantly, family friendly celebration to mark this milestone.
After many months of planning we were delighted to finally unveil our Flight for Youth campaign to the public!
It seemed only fitting to host the unveiling of our beautiful butterflies at one of the venues which will play host to this dramatic installation, so we were most grateful to Richard Hughes and his team at The Assembly House for hosting our launch. Our other host venue, Holkham Hall, will be holding an exclusive VIP viewing later in the year, prior to the opening of the installation itself.
Speaking about his involvement in the 25th anniversary celebrations, Richard Hughes, Chef Director of The Assembly House said:
“The Assembly House in Norwich hosts countless birthday celebrations every year but this, the 25th birthday of The Benjamin Foundation, will be the first which involves thousands of butterfly guests!
We are proud to support the fabulous work of such a vital lifeline to children, young people and families experiencing challenges in Norfolk and Suffolk and can’t wait to see this exciting project take flight at one of the city’s most famous buildings.”
Whilst the Earl and Countess of Leicester commented:
“We are delighted that Holkham Hall is to be a host venue supporting the Benjamin Foundation’s 25th year and the extremely valuable work the organisation does. The Foundation’s anniversary project, with thousands of butterflies displayed against the backdrop of the 18th century Hall, will offer a unique feature for our visitors to see and we believe and hope will benefit the charity in helping to raise its profile.”
Over 100 guests joined us to celebrate the launch, including Lord Mayor of Norwich, Martin Schmierer and Richard Draper who founded the charity with his wife Vanessa in 1994, following the death of their son Ben. Richard explains:
“After the horrendous nightmare of losing our lovely eldest son Ben, aged just 17, in a motorcycle accident in August 1992, my wife Vanessa and I dared to dream a dream. This dream was to make a positive difference in our own backyard of North Norfolk. We had no idea that dream and that backyard would become so large, now covering the whole of Norfolk, and extending into my home county of Suffolk. The positive difference The Benjamin Foundation makes every day in the lives of so many children, young people and their carers and parents we hope is testimony to the amazing positive energy that was and IS our Ben. We also recognise The Benjamin Foundation has enabled others, staff, volunteers, Trustees and most of all those whose lives we touch to dream their dreams and fulfil their potential. Long may the dream continue.”
So it was truly special to celebrate 25 years of that dream coming to fruition.
In addition, we were delighted to welcome many of our fabulous Flight for Youth sponsors. It would not have been possible to achieve as much as we have without the incredible and generous support of so many companies and individuals. So we were honoured that many of them attended on the night, including headline sponsor Norwich High School for Girls and our special Launch Sponsor, Kare Plus.
The charity’s silver anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to create even more awareness of the work we do in the region, as well as generate much-needed funds. So we have decided to focus the celebrations around a dramatic art installation for the public to enjoy, featuring, of course, our much-loved and well recognised colourful butterfly!
Colin Lang MBE, Special Projects & Events Manager
Each year we help over 2,500 people in Norfolk and Suffolk