The Starr Trust welcomed young people, charity Ambassadors, Patrons, friends and family to an inspirational Celebration Night to mark its 15th Anniversary.
On 26th September, the charity came together at the DoubleTree by Hilton Brighton Metropole to honour the young people it has helped. The night, sponsored by Brighton CCTV and also Seico Mortgages, included special guest ice-skating Olympian and Patron of the Trust Robin Cousins MBE and Olympic legend Daley Thompson CBE as well as a number of charity ambassadors from across the world of TV, sports and business.
Founded by Rob Starr in 2008, the Hove-based charity has been a beacon of hope for young people in the Brighton area facing hardship and personal challenges. The support provided by the Starr Trust has enabled more than 5,000 children and young adults by awarding grants to help them achieve their full potential in Sports, Education and Arts.
Rob Starr, Founder & Chairman of the Starr Trust, said: “We are so proud of the young people we help. It’s not always about the principal reason people apply for support, sometimes it’s about the help to start a journey and then just seeing where that journey takes you.” He went on to express his heartfelt appreciation to everyone who has contributed to the charity's mission. “A birthday is such a good time to look back and see what you have done, who you have met, and the journeys you have been on, and also it's the perfect time to think about where you want to go next.”
Meet the very first Starr
Several of the young Starrs took the time to share their inspirational stories of how the Starr Trust has helped them. Ira, a young man from Brighton who was one of the first people funded, has achieved impressive academic success studying sports and performance psychology in the US, working with professional athletes to in turn achieve their best. Ira’s mother, Karen spoke to guests about how life-changing the support has been not only for her son who has recently married, but the positive impact the Starr Trust has had on their whole family.
Ryan, who started playing table tennis two years ago with help from the Starr Trust, is now ranked number two in England in the under-13s category. He is now eyeing up playing in a future Olympics. Speaking on the night he said pursuing this passion wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the charity.
He said: “The Starr Trust has helped me in many different ways, even with school, because they’ve given me so many opportunities and without the money, I wouldn’t have been able to travel abroad or play in tournaments.” Speaking about his Olympics aspiration, he added: “I think the Olympics would obviously be quite a big leap from where I am currently, so I think – let’s take it one step at a time and see where I go.”
A winning formula
Daley Thompson is a long-time supporter of the charity and has spent time encouraging Ryan in his pursuits. He said: “I’m going to help him get there by telling him things about sports and Ryan is going to coach me to play table tennis. The thing is, he already knows what he’s got to do – and that’s just get his head down, he’s got to work hard in both his school work and his training and mostly, he’s got to come out of this being a really nice kid and a good champion.”
Former British competitive figure skater Robin Cousins MBE also attended the event and is one of the charity’s proud patrons. He said that he was drawn to the charity because of what it stands for. “Over the past 15 years, it has grown exponentially and that love and compassion has spread beyond Rob and the families and I’m just thrilled to still be here and be a part of it, ” he said.
Guests were treated to some incredible vocals from singing group Rhapsody who covered a range of upbeat covers of contemporary songs in the Hilton’s prestigious Clarence Suite, which had been beautifully dressed for the occasion by local business Fabricate alongside Mascol who provided the AV.
Brighton CCTV Owner and sponsor of the night, Christopher Dean, said: “We are really proud to support the Starr Trust and delighted to sponsor this occasion in celebration of all the young people supported so far. We look forward to seeing the work of the charity as they begin their 15th Year. What a great achievement!”
Moving forwards with new ambassadors…
The Trust welcomed three new Ambassadors; Celebrity Chef Momma Cherri, who has supported the charity since its inception in 2008, Stephanie Prior, an inspirational local businesswoman and presenter of Latest TV, and PR Guru Aneela Rose, Managing Director of Rose Media Group who will be managing a 12-month anniversary campaign with a series of life-changing stories, never before shared outside of the charity.
Aneela said: “The Starr Trust is our charity of choice and we thoroughly support their ideology and work to help young people. It is an incredible charity that’s really close to my heart as supporting and inspiring the next generation is so important to me. I’ve seen how the Starr Trust changes lives, and to be able to help in some small way is an absolute privilege. I’m loving being part of the Starr family, you are truly awesome, the Starrs ‘n’ Roses have aligned!”
The Starr Trust would like to express huge thanks to all who attended and were involved in helping make the night a success; Brighton CCTV, DoubleTree by Hilton Metropole Brighton, Gemini Print for printing our lovely brochures, Mascol for the AV, Fabricate for the room dressing, Rhapsody for singing and Graham Franks Photography for the fantastic photos of the occasion.