Monday, 18 February 2019
TELEVISION presenter Phillip Schofield was delighted to witness a “different culture” of entertainment at a thank-you event for supporters of the Chiltern Centre for disabled children in Henley.
The co-host of ITV’s Dancing on Ice is patron of the respite charity in Greys Road and joked about having to witness a routine by The Only Way Is Essex star Gemma Collins the night before Monday’s reception in Bix.
Schofield and his wife Stephanie were among more than 30 guests to attend the annual event held at the home of Gaie Scouller, who has supported the centre for 16 years.
The group also included Ian Gallifant, Yvette Kershaw and Nick Steel, who will start climbing Mt Kilimanjaro on Sunday and town councillor Will Hamilton, who will run the London Marathon in April, both on behalf of the centre.
They all enjoyed prosecco, orange juice and elderflower cordial and hoisin duck and salmon canapes, cheese biscuits and quiche, prepared by supporter Charlotte Stuart.
There was also a short opera performance from Alex Haigh and Rosemary Clifford, whose set included Nella Fantasia, and the audience was encouraged to sing along.
Schofield, who lives in Fawley and also appears on This Morning alongside Holly Willoughby, described the performance as “absolutely stunning” saying it wasn’t what he has been used to lately.
He said: “As we were listening to that I suddenly thought this time last night (Sunday) I was watching Gemma Collins skate. What a change of culture.”
Schofield also posed for “selfies” with some of the guests and said he has been delighted to support the centre, adding: “We have been involved for a very long time, and you have no idea how special you are. Nothing would happen without our friends. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Paul Barrett, who chairs the centre’s trustees, thanked everyone who has supported and donated to the centre last year and warned of tougher times ahead.
He said: “We do not take our friends for granted, and I want to say a little word about last year, 2018. Success is no guarantee of further success. I do think this year is going to be quite uncertain. Local authorities are running out of money.
“It is hugely important to have friends like you. We need friends not only when times are getting better but also when times are bad. I am not sure what 2019 will bring, but we will need you more than ever. You never know what will happen. Thank you very much for coming and enjoy the rest of the occasion.”
13 February 2019
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