Gallery: AWTE Christmas lunch

The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) raised more than £15,000 for charity at its star-studded annual Christmas lunch yesterday (December 3).

Guests dug deep for good causes during live and silent auctions at the event, which was sponsored by Attraction World, Pinpoint Communications, Holiday Extras and Gold Medal/Travel 2.

The diners at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London were entertained by rapper Chris Turner and singing from Harry Potter star Imelda Staunton – who is also the wife of Jim Carter (pictured) of Downton Abbey fame. He spoke at the lunch about Richard House, London’s first children’s hospice and the beneficiary of the funds raised.

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Carter and Staunton are patrons of the hospice, which cares for children with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness.

The live auction donations, which included a signed Lionel Messi Barcelona shirt, a Mulberry handbag, a Christmas Markets cruise for six people and a personalised styling day, helped to raise the record amount in an auction led by James Lewis, head of partnerships at Holiday Extras.

AWTE chair Sarah Clayton Turner said: “Wow, what an amazing event on the back of a fantastic year at the AWTE, my last as the chair.

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“We’ve been thrilled with the turnout this year and we hope everyone has enjoyed this event as much as we have.

“2018 has been a great year for us, with an increase in membership and a range of exciting training events for members, hosted by Jenny Kovacs, to support the training and development requirements for our members.”

In addition to the funds raised for Richard House, a record amount of £3,875 has been raised for the AWTE Benevolent Fund.

Travel Weekly is a partner of the AWTE.

GalleryAWTE Christmas lunch

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