BFE help raise money at the International Women’s Day Networking Lunch

Friday 7th March 2014 saw a full house at the annual International Women’s Day Networking & Fundraising Lunch.  The event was held at the Newcastle-Gateshead Hilton Hotel in aid of the Women’s Fund and aimed to raise money to help Community Foundation support more women’s causes and make a difference to the lives of women with a lack of opportunities in the North East.

This year’s theme was ‘Inspiring Change’ and included a very motivational speech from Valda Goodfellow, Managing Director of Goodfellows, a North East supplier of high quality hotel and restaurant tableware to renowned chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver.

Crossroad Carers Gateshead also gave a very interesting insight into how a grant from the Women’s Fund has helped mothers with mental health problems reduce the impact and stress on their children.

Fiona Hall and Caroline Hasson attended on behalf of Building Futures East and were lucky enough to share a table with inspiring ladies from Soroptimist International, Gusto Restaurant and Bar, Community Foundation and Newcastle Racecourse.

Shirley Hallam, President of Tynemouth & Whitley Bay District Soroptimists shared many of her stories with the table and talked to us about how Soroptimist International’s projects help improve the lives of half a million women and girls around the world.  (For more information on how you can become a part of this dynamic organisation, you can visit

Funds were raised on the day from the sale of the gorgeous table centre-piece flower arrangements, the auction of a week’s accommodation in Northumberland and through a £10 draw with prizes including a overnight stay at the Hilton, a meal for two & a spa day.

Over £1000 was also raised through the day’s ‘text-giving’ and we look forward to hearing what the final fundraising figures amounted to.

Thanks to everyone we had the pleasure to meet and chat to as well as to the Hilton Hotel and Community Foundation for an fun and inspiring afternoon!

(Left to right) Fiona Hall (Curriculum, Quality & Performance Manager at BFE), Louise Fawcett (General Manager at Gusto), Caroline Hasson (Contract Manager BFE), Sue Martin (Grant Project Executive at Community Foundation), Shirley Hallam (President of Tynemouth & Whitley Bay Soroptimist International)