PICTURES: Downton Abbey star’s castle night raises £65,000

Friends of Sussex Hospices Kathy Gore with Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams. Pictures: Graham Franks Photography
Friends of Sussex Hospices Kathy Gore with Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams. Pictures: Graham Franks Photography

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville entertained nearly 300 people at Arundel Castle this week in aid of Sussex hospices.

The actor, who is also known for his role in the Paddington films, hosted a charity dinner on Tuesday night along with Oscar-winning screenwriter, Julian Fellowes.

High Sheriff of West Sussex Lady Emma Barnard, Lord and Lady Julian Fellowes and guests

High Sheriff of West Sussex Lady Emma Barnard, Lord and Lady Julian Fellowes and guests

The evening raised £65,000 for Friends of Sussex Hospices, which supports St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester and Chestnut Tree House in Arundel.

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception in the castle’s drawing room and gallery before filling the magnificent Barons’ Hall for a sumptuous three course dinner.

Musical entertainment came in the form of International Tenor and ex-Lancing College chorister, Tom Robson, accompanied by Susan Legg on piano.

Chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, Kathy Gore OBE, thanked The Duke and Duchess of Norfolk for hosting the dinner, the castle staff and the many others who were instrumental in its success including caterers, Party Ingredients, Donatello Restaurant, who donated the wine, five local Waitrose branches, who donated orchids for table arrangements and Stas Chocolatier who provided delicious chocolate gifts for everyone to take home.

Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams with Lord and Lady Julian Fellowes

Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams with Lord and Lady Julian Fellowes

An auction and silent auction helped boost the overall profit significantly. Prizes included an eight day viking cruise for two, a London internship with BGF (Business Growth Fund), Grange Opera Festival tickets and a ride around the Goodwood Racing Circuit in a privately owned vintage Aston Martin as well as the newest model from Harwoods.

Friends of Sussex Hospices raises funds and awareness for the work of the twelve hospice care providers that serve the adults and children of Sussex.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers and has to date distributed £2.1million.