On Friday night, the Rutland Osprey Project hosted our second fundraising dinner – our Osprey Fundraising Dinner and Dance! This special evening was a celebration of the success of 2015, and in particular the 100th Osprey chick to fledge from a nest in Rutland! It was a fitting end to a fantastic season. The event was held at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, who did a superb job of catering for our every need on the night. Our sincerest thanks to them!
Roy Dennis came down from the Highlands of Scotland to join us, and gave an insightful and inspirational talk – looking back at the beginning of the Osprey Project, all the work it has done for Osprey conservation so far, the brilliant success it has become, and the inspiration it has been to other countries who have since run similar projects. Thank you very much to Roy for coming! I know that a lot of people attending were incredibly happy to meet the world-renowned Osprey expert, who was so instrumental in getting the project off the ground back in the 90s.
We were happy to welcome Anglian Water to partake in the celebrations, who have been, and continue to be, a great source of support to the project. The Osprey Project is, of course, a joint venture between Anglian Water and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. We were also pleased that IEPUK, a company providing land-based education, work experience and training, also joined us at the Dinner, and presented us with a cheque for £814! Thank you so much to them for their generous donation.
IEPUK have supported the work of the Osprey Project for many years, and have helped to fund some of our educational work in West Africa. When JJ, our Gambian liaison, visited England last month, he met with the Director of IEPUK, George Peach, to discuss how well the programme of work in Africa has been going. Here is a video of their chat.
The Dinner was supplemented not only by Roy’s fabulous talk, but also by a brilliant raffle, which raised £1,065! The amazing array of raffle prizes included two nights’ bed and breakfast at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, a £50 voucher for Land’s End, a meal for two at the Olive Branch, a session at the River Gwash Trout Farm for 2016, and much more! Volunteer Lynda Berry did a superb job of sourcing and promoting these prizes – we owe Lynda a huge thanks for her efforts! Thank you also, of course, to the generosity of those who donated the raffle prizes. These are Barnsdale Lodge Hotel; River Gwash Trout Farm; Anglian Water; Land’s End Ltd; Baker’s Yard, Oakham; The King’s Arms, Wing; GLOW at Barnsdale; The Olive Branch; Co-op; Tesco and Paul Stammers.
We also had a wonderful live performance from supremely talented local band, Jonny’s at One, who had everyone on their feet and dancing! They performed an excellent repertoire of songs, and I think I speak for everyone when I say we all enjoyed it immensely and thought they were superb! We owe them a huge thank you, too.
In total, including the donation from IEPUK, ticket sales and the raffle, the Dinner and Dance raised an impressive sum of £2,574 for the Osprey Project! We would like to extend a thank you to everyone who came to the evening, supported us and celebrated with us – we hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did!