Children North East's Chief Executive Jeremy Cripps travelled to Edinburgh with Income Generation Manager Kasia Kurowska for the People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala on Thursday night.

The guest list couldn't have been more A list, with both George and Amal Clooney in town to collect a £1 million cheque for The Clooney Foundation For Justice, along with a Postcode Hero award from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

We wanted the FULL lowdown from the evening so without further ado, here's Jeremy's account of the evening.

Last night I was delighted to attend the annual People’s Postcode Lottery Charity Gala in Edinburgh, my tenth and what a spectacular celebration it has become.

This year the star guests were George and Amal Clooney and no expense was spared with the staging, lighting and organisation of the event in Edinburgh University and the National Museum of Scotland.

George Clooney greets fans

Down to earth

George and Amal were awarded ‘Postcode Hero’ status for their work as campaigners for human rights and social justice and given a £1million donation for the Clooney Foundation for Justice.

Natasha Kaplinsky interviewed them on stage where they spoke movingly about feeling lucky to be able to use their fame and success for social good and about using the law to challenge nation states who are eroding citizens' human rights.

I have to say, despite their superstar status they were very warm and down to earth.

FGM Campaigner

Also receiving a Postcode Hero award and a £1million donation to her work to end female genital mutilation was Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, resplendent in her Maasai beaded headdress and necklace with long black robes.

She addressed the audience telling how, as an eight year old she decided she did not want to be cut in the traditional ceremony by which Maasai girls pass into womanhood. Instead she worked relentlessly to change the attitude of the elders who in 2014 announced the end of cutting, replacing it instead with ceremonies that affirm women’s right to education and celebrate their individual achievements.

10 years of support

Children North East was noted as one of a handful of charities that have been supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery for 10 years. Family life has changed hugely in that time. With the incredibly generous support of £2,021,383 our services have doubled and changed to respond to the crisis in emotional health and well-being of children and young people; the school experience of the 30% of children who are in poverty; children going hungry during the school holidays and the absolute essential of a loving relationship for every baby with its parent.

Jeremy Cripps and Kasia Kurowska at the PPL Charity Gala 2019

Children North East's Chief Executive Jeremy Cripps and Income Generation Manager Kasia Kurowska 

Limiting laws

Support from People’s Postcode Lottery has been a godsend during austerity but they have also been good friends, encouraging and supporting all their charities to be more financially sustainable and accountable to donors and supporters by reporting our impact. I am very proud we are now able to support over 3,500 children and young people and work with more than 50 schools.

People’s Postcode Lottery are frustrated that UK law limits how much they are allowed to raise for charity. The UK Lotteries Council, The Institute of Fundraising, The Hospice Lotteries Association, over 70 major UK charities and politicians across all political parties support a change in the law which Government has been considering for more than four years.

Surely the time has come for Parliament to act so that People’s Postcode Lottery players can be even more generous to more good causes.

Find out more about our partnership with People's Postcode Lottery