On Thursday 17th March the The Riverside hosted a Fundraising Lunch for PLANETS, a Charity based at Southampton General Hospital, dedicated to defeating Pancreatic Liver and NeuroEndocrine TumourS (NETs) . The 72 guests were greeted with a welcoming drink and canapes, followed by a delicious meal provided by Head Chef, Tony Shaw and the team.
PLANETS founder Neil Pearce, Consultant Surgeon and Associate Medical Director at University Hospital Southampton (UHS), accompanied by Layla Stephen, co-founder and Fund Manager of the charity, arrived in brilliant sunshine which showed the Riverside at its best. Neil Pearce gave an inspiring talk about the pioneering work being carried out by his team at UHS, helped by funding from PLANETS. The charity campaigns to increase awareness and improve outcomes for patients living with these complex illnesses, through early detection, better treatments, support and research. He then had the restaurant roaring with laughter by conducting the Auction with a comedy routine worthy of an Equity card, according to what he named the Billingsgate rules “Any movement above the waist is a bid”. It worked well, both the Auction and Raffle were highly successful and with other donations was confirmed by Layla Stephen as having raised a truly amazing £4,148.90!! (four thousand, one hundred and forty eighty pounds and 90p).
“Huge THANKS to everyone who supported this event so generously, not just with lovely Auction items, Raffle prizes and donations, but with time, advice and encouragement. When Arthur offered to “do something to raise awareness and a few pennies”, I had no idea it would have such a wonderful outcome. We are indebted to Arthur, Jan, Chilly and the Riverside team for creating such a happy, relaxed, atmosphere — it made the day memorable . One guest said later, ‘It was one of those occasions you wish you could re-wind and live through again’.
As one of the three NETS patients present at the event who owe being in ‘extra time’ thanks to Neil and the PLANETS team , I not only wished to raise some funds for their work to continue, but to give hope to others when faced with a bleakdiagnosis. Both Neil Pearce and Layla Stephen said they had very much enjoyed the day and plan to visit The Riverside again.” said Kate Geraghty, on behalf of friends and family who helped to organise the event.