Helping the homeless - Ely businessman organises a VIP casino night for Crisis
- Credit: Archant
An impromptu VIP casino night arranged by an Ely businessman has raised hundreds of pounds for a charity close to his heart.
For the last five years Jeremy Reeve has spent the festive season volunteering in London support centres for the homeless charity Crisis.
This year, however, he decided to also raise money for them and with the help of friends and business contacts, within just six weeks, he rustled up a star studded casino night at the Grosvenor Barracuda Centre, that brought in £3,153.25.
Ely-based Mr Reeve, managing director of PowerPackXL in Cambridge, said: “I can’t believe we pulled it off. Within days of suggesting a charity night I had friends hitting their phones and Facebook calling in favours, offers of prizes, the response was overwhelming.”
Among guests for the rip roaring night were faces from film and TV, singer songwriter Angie Brown, reality TV stars and Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor stars.
Charity auction goodies included a champagne dinner for four with Peter Stringfellow, prizes from BMW in Cambridge and from the Blues and Royals Household Cavalry.
Mr Reeve said: “It was a great atmosphere. Having a lot of singers there meant it turned into a bit of a karaoke night - but with a difference.
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“It was a proper feel good night which helped a charity I feel very strongly about.”
Mr Reeve began volunteering for Crisis five years ago and spent the first two years in their centre in Beckton and the last three in Hackney where the centre is open from December 22 to 29 providing food, films on a giant cinema screen, a medical centre, support and a listening ear.
“It is not just homeless who come along it is the vulnerable or those on very low incomes, these are people who genuinely have nothing, but are grateful for everything, the community spirit and atmosphere at these centres is beyond words. For me it gives Christmas meaning,” he said.
At the Hackney centre in East London more than 1,500 people were supported with hot meals, medical help, fresh clothes and company making them feel special over the Christmas period, he said.