Construction’s top networking event and lunch was once again a highlight in this year’s calendar and over 900 guests were welcomed through the doors of the Westminster Park Plaza on Friday 2nd December for our charity partner, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity’s event in London.
Radio and television presenter Pete Graves, was MC for the day and opened proceedings with a warm welcome and a hint of the excitement to come with the day’s special guests. Then it was on to a hotly contested ‘heads and tails’ competition to get everyone in the mood for the entertainment to come.
Each year the Charity awards the ‘Peter Capel’ Cup to recognise outstanding achievement and contributions from organisations that support the charity. Competition for the coveted award is always fierce, but this year the judges were simply unable to select a clear winner. Three companies were announced as joint winners; Gallagher Group, Glencar Construction and Coinford, all of who received resounding cheers and applause from the appreciative audience. The award was in recognition of Gallagher Group and Glencar Construction for organising and sponsoring the charity’s ‘On Yer Bike’ challenge across Ireland in May, and to Gallagher Group and Coinford for organising the charity’s White Collar Boxing event.
A special mention was also given to Logan Price from O’Halloran and O’Brien for his individual achievement, raising almost £15,000 scaling Mont Blanc and the UK and Ireland’s 4 highest peaks.
All the winners of the lotto very generously donated their prize money straight back to the charity, so a special thank you goes to Dermot O’Grady from Ardent Tide, Kathy Marsden from MasterMac Surfacing, and James from J O’Doherty Haulage Ltd.
Guests enjoyed a gourmet three course meal and auctioneer Addison Gelpey, prompted some frantic bidding for some unique lots and opportunities.
Top celebrities from the sporting world then graced the stage and football legends, Glen Hoddle and Paul Merson, were joined by ex rugby player and presenter, David Flatman. Along with boxing hard hitter David Haye ‘the Hayemaker’ to form an all star line up.
They all shared their own experiences with poor mental health, addiction, injury and near fatal heart attacks, with each adding plenty of humour to how these events had impacted on their lives and shaped how they dealt with the challenges of daily life. The audience were very appreciative of the remarkably candid and witty responses to some tricky questions and the celebrities received a standing ovation.
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said,
“We are always amazed at the generosity of our supporters, particularly during these difficult times. Thank you never seems enough, but that support means that we can literally change and save people’s lives and that is truly humbling. Next year we have big plans to ensure that everyone can reach out for support through our ‘Make it Visible’ campaign and our on site team will be visiting more locations to help spread the word about out vital services. Each year we do more and more for our community but that is only possible with the dedicated and unerring support we receive and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers that helped on the day and our sponsors who make these events possible.”
The afternoon was wrapped up by opera singers, Damian Carter and Alexander Wall who treated the audience to rousing renditions of Nessun dorma and Sweet Caroline, prompting synchronised swaying and napkin waving. The festivities continued well into the evening with guests embracing the Christmas spirit and making the most of the networking opportunities. .
If you or anyone you know is struggling, you can reach out to the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity for free and confidential support now on their 24/7 Construction Industry Helplines. Visit their website here for more information.