Our annual London Variety Night has raised over £70,000, with a line-up featuring funny man Simon Brodkin, TV personality Alison Hammond, Britain’s Got Talent stars Marc Spelmann and Paul Zerdin, and wacky comedian Tim Vine.
The event, held on September 28 at the Arts Depot, Finchley, was in memory of North London local, Alan Mattey, who died of bowel cancer 14 years ago. It raised much-needed funds to help support the 1 in 29 children in the UK are bereaved of a parent or sibling before the age of 16. Offering free, pioneering services to bereaved children and young people, Grief Encounter’s mission is to make professional, early intervention bereavement support available to all children who need it.
With pledges still coming in, 100% of the funds raised will support the 3000 bereaved children, young people and their families Grief Encounter help annually.
Richard Fogelman, Grief Encounter CEO, comments, “In this, our 15th year, we were thrilled have such a great line up for our annual Variety Night. Alison Hammond as our compere hosted an incredible auction, and our key–note speaker, Jodie Mattey, Alan’s daughter, led an emotional appeal. With huge thanks to our talent for performing, and our guests for attending.
“44,000 dependent children are bereaved annually. Adolescent grief has a devastating impact that can last for life, with research showing links to mental health issues, social and behavioural problems and more. Grief Encounter’s services help to alleviate the pain and isolation bereavement often brings with our unique Family Programme featuring bespoke therapy and workshops, and our new national helpline, grieftalk, open to all, 9am-9pm weekdays.”
Jodie Mattey, 25, from Mill Hill, comments, “The impact of my dad Alan’s death has been huge for us all, even now, 14 years later. Grief Encounter showed us a way to keep living, a way to move forward without Dad. I truly believe my family and I wouldn’t be where we are today without the support we received. I’m so grateful that we were able to host the evening in his name, and are so grateful for all the donations received, so that Grief Encounter can carry on supporting the bereaved families that so desperately need them.”