10 Sep 2018
The infamous ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ returned to Prestonfield House in Edinburgh today (7th September), marking the event’s 10th anniversary during Scotland’s Year of Young People, raising a record breaking £1 million to help change the lives of over 1,000 young people supported by The Prince’s Trust.
A host of stars, including actor Linda Robson and musical act Björn Again, became honorary ‘old bags’ and joined 400 of the country’s most fabulous and influential woman in aid of the youth charity.
Now in its tenth year, the event has now raised over a staggering £4.5 million for The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, allowing the charity to transform over 4,500 young Scots’ lives. This year’s funds will make a meaningful difference to hundreds of young people’s lives, giving them the support they need to turn their lives around.
The ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ volunteer committee run by a group of self-proclaimed “Old Bags” rustled up a selection of impressive auction donations and ‘money can’t buy’ raffle prizes including an original ‘Mickey and Minnie’ art work by renowned street Artist Mr. Brainwash which was auctioned for £100,000 alone; a once in a lifetime shopping trip to NYC, crossing the Atlantic in the Queen Mary 2; a personal portrait by Scottish Artist Gerard Burns; and a magnificent Malachite Hermes Birkin handbag worth £24,000.
There were numerous exclusive handbags on offer in the ‘fast bag auction’, which included a wide range of designer bags from Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Mui Mui, and Jimmy Choo.
The event aims to challenge the stereotypes applied to the more mature lady, as well as the unnecessary labelling of young people, who can face negative stereotypes of their own.
Naomi McLarnon, Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, who shared her story alongside other Young Ambassadors at the event, said:
“I was drinking excessively to deal with my depression but that just led me to a much darker place. I had never hated myself more. I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore, I had all but given up and didn’t know where to begin.
“My job coach at the jobcentre told me about The Princes Trust. When I joined, I became so immersed in the course and fell in love with the atmosphere of the Trust and the staff. I’m now in a job that I love, and I feel truly happy with a positive outlook that is tangible.”
Fiona Donaldson, Chair of the LWOB Volunteer Committee, said: “Every year we’re astounded at the amount raised, and this extra-special year has been exceptional. It just shows the difference a room full of “Old Bags” can make! Thank you to our extraordinary supporters and volunteer committee for helping The Prince’s Trust transform thousands of young lives.”
For the past ten years, James Thomson OBE has generously hosted this invitation-only lunch event at his five-star venue, Prestonfield.
“Over the past ten years, ‘Lunch with an Old’ Bag at Prestonfield has raised enough cash to help change the lives of thousands of young people across Scotland. That seemed an impossible target when we started Lunch with an Old Bag and simply wouldn’t have been possible without the huge generosity of the 'Old Bags' and their ferocious bidding towards a great cause!”
Local personality, Capital FM presenter and Prince's Trust Ambassador, Des Clarke hosted the main auction and event, with entertainment provided by musical act Björn Again, who got the crowd dancing to the greatest hits of ABBA.
This year The Prince’s Trust will support over 10,000 young people across Scotland to develop the skills and confidence the need to live, learn and earn.