Shooting Star Chase’s new Vice President, Simon Cowell, was joined by celebrity guests and supported families when he hosted a glitzy afternoon tea at The Dorchester in London on Friday 22nd May, which raised a massive £45,000.

Simon signing supported family's autograph books

Simon and his partner, Lauren Silverman, welcomed ten children and their families cared for by Shooting Star Chase,  along with supporters and other celebrities including the charity’s Patron, Dame Joan Collins; Brian McFadden and his wife, Vogue Williams; TV presenter Matt Johnson; Duncan James; Arlene Phillips; Sinitta and last year’s Britain’s Got Talent winner, Collabro. Guests were treated to an exclusive afternoon tea created by Executive Chef Henry Brosi, a pick ‘n’ mix sweet cart and Shooting Star Chaser cocktails, while being entertained by singer and pianist, Jonathan Carr.

Denise Van Outen

Denise Van Outen compered the event and held a raffle and an auction where the fabulous prizes on offer to bidders included a box at the O2 Arena to see One Direction, a private film screening for 125 guests at a Cineworld cinema, and tickets in a box in the presence of HRH The Countess of Wessex for Lead Belly Fest at the Royal Albert Hall with Van Morrison, Jools Holland and special guests. A huge £45,000 was raised at the event, which will go a long way in helping make every moment count for the families we care for.

Simon with supported child, Ruby

Simon, who has been involved with Shooting Star Chase for a decade, accepted an invitation to become Vice President as recognition of his tireless work in raising funds and awareness for the charity. During his time supporting the charity, Simon has donated exclusive auction prizes and attended and spoken at some of the charity’s high profile events. He has also hosted the annual afternoon tea since 2012 and made a number of private visits to the charity’s hospices to spend time with families and staff. Lauren Silverman also accepted an invitation to become a Patron of the charity and after playing a significiant role in supporting us alongside her partner, Simon.

Professor Popplepants and Lauren

Simon Cowell said about his Vice Presidency: “It is a huge honour to have been asked to be Vice President of Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice. Everyone involved in the charity does an amazing job caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions as well as supporting their families.

“I remember the first time I was invited down to a hospice, and I’ve got to be honest, I was dreading it. I pictured just greyness in my mind before I got there, then I walked in to this place, which should be sad but it wasn’t. Instead, it was – and is – a beautiful place to be.

“I’ve formed a very close bond with the people involved with the charity over the years and it has become extremely close to my heart. I hope my on-going role will encourage others to get involved – the support Shooting Star Chase receive really does make a difference to the care they can provide to families who desperately need it.”

The Nimmo family

The event marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of Shooting Star House in Hampton, one of our Shooting Star Chase hospices. Stephanie Nimmo is a supported mum who attended the tea with her husband, Andy, and two daughters, Xanthe and Daisy. Shooting Star House supports the Nimmo family and Stephanie said about the afternoon tea: “It’s been a really special afternoon. For us all to get together and go out as a family has been so lovely and it was especially great to be able to meet the other guests and celebrities and talk about our family, and about Daisy. We had the perfect opportunity to say thank you to everyone for their continued supported and communicate how much it means to have this wonderful charity on our side.”

Check out our photo gallery on Facebook for all the snaps from the day!