Welcome to the latest edition of the Climb Any Mountain newsletter. This issue a special edition, dedicated to our major fundraising event for 2013 - the TLC Gala Dinner and Auction, held on Friday 25 October 2013, at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. 

This is a bumper issue but we hope you enjoy it. To view all of the photographs taken on the night, please visit our gallery page on our website.


Thank you to our sponsor of the TLC Gala Dinner and Auction

The inaugural Gala Dinner and Auction was held to raise awareness and generate funds for the Transitional Living Centre initiative that will transform the services for people with learning disability and mental illness across South Africa.

 At around 7.00pm,  over 120 guests descended on the Royal College of Surgeons in Holborn, to take part in this glamorous evening to celebrate the progress we have made in this exciting project. 

The evening started with a champagne drinks reception to the background music of Paul Lunga and his Township Jazz Band.

With over forty amazing prizes donated for the auction, the guests had a chance to mingle and get a close up view of the various items they would be able to bid on throughout the evening 

Soon the doors to the Edward Lumley Hall were opened
and guests were invited to take their seats. 

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Mark Jeffery came to the front of the room to welcome everyone and set the tone for the evening ahead.

As the first course was served Climb Any Mountain’s founder Kim Crossman took the stage to thank everyone for attending a share the context behind the evening’s event.  After a moving account of the personal journey behind her starting the charity she handed over to a representative from BidTech to explain the interactive bidding process. 

With 3 iPads on each table, guests could immediately start to bid on the silent auction items. As the bids started to come in the results were projected on screen at the front of the room.

As everyone finished their main course Neil Danks, one of the Trustees took to the stage. Over the last 3 months a short film had been made on location in Pietermaritzburg to give our guests a chance to get related to the individuals that Climb Any Mountain Supports. 

As well as the silent auction taking place Climb Any Mountain had reserved 6 top prizes to auction live on the night and our MC introduced our live auctioneer Ed Giddins (former ex-England cricketer) to lead the next part of the night. As the desserts were served, the live auction began.

With the mix of incredible prizes, the hilarious auctioneer and generous audience the live auction was a lively and engaging affair.  The Rolling Stones signed guitar and signed Mohammed Ali boxing glove were the top bids raising an incredible £5,000 between them.

As the live auction was completed guests had 45 minutes remaining to bid before the end of the silent auction.

 With the evening’s scheduled activities at an end, Kim Crossman once again took to the stage to thank everyone for their contributions. As a small token of appreciation the heads of each table then handed out the gift bags to guests, which included small spoons and forks that had been decorated by people at the PMB Mental Health Society as a souvenir of the evening. 

The Jazz Band continued to play and guests were invited to mingle, chat and dance the rest of the night away.

The night itself was an overwhelming success with a grand total of 35,000 pounds raised.

Climb Any Mountain would like to thank everyone that donated a prize, volunteered on the night or attended as a guest for making this an extraordinary night.

A big, big thank you!

I’m really clear that our TLC Gala Dinner and Auction would not have been such a success, or even possible at all, without the contribution of the many groups people from various corners of the world: 

To CEB (Corporate Executive Board) who was our Corporate Sponsor for the event. The generosity of individuals and organisations who donated auction prizes, sponsored tickets and made donations.

The teams of volunteers, our Team Leaders and Management Committee who worked tirelessly over many months doing whatever tasks, big and small, to put the night together. To Jo Higgs and her team at Go Trolley who donated their professional time and expertise in filming ‘Our Story’ in South Africa. To Jaha Browne and her team who filmed all of us in London. To Amy Daneel who edited ‘Our Story’ with such flare and passion.

To all the folk at the Pietermaritzburg Mental Health Society who willingly shared their stories. To the PMB MHS workshop team who crafted our beautiful goody bag gifts of teaspoons and dessert forks.

To Mark Jeffrey – our inspirational and charismatic MC! To Ed Giddins, the amazing auctioneer. To Harleen Habra for the beautiful flowers. To Maxine Bulloch for capturing the night so wonderfully through her photos. To Sion Tammes for his audio visual prowes. To the advertisers, Bee Teacher and Hayat Estates. To BidTech for providing the iPad technical and to the Royal College of Surgeons for looking after all of our needs in the organising of the event.

And last, but not least, to everyone who attended the gala dinner and participated in the auction – we hope you walked away with some great prizes, and we thank you for the gift in return you provided for us to accomplish our mission in South Africa.

Remember to keep us mind and if you come across people who could make a difference to what we are up to, or if you’re one of those people – get in touch as we’d love to hear more from you!

...until next year!

Kim Crossman

Our advertisers

Lydia was the "last man standing"!

Rather, Lydia Dunn was the "last woman standing" in our fun game, organised by MC Mark Jeffrey, when she nabbed the winning prize of £250. Well done Lydia!

Maxine Bulloch Photographer

A picture paints a thousand words!

Photographer, Maxine Bulloch, (www.maxinebulloch.com) generously donated her services on the night. Her work is amazing! And we are sure you will agree that she captured the night so perfectly! 

Email Harleen Habra

Flowers by Harleen

Beautiful is all that needs to be said about the flowers provided by Harleen Habra, who created two huge displays that really added to the décor and warmth of the room on the night.

Our Story documentary

"Our Story" documentary 

Watch the full length video of our first ever documentary, which premiered on the night. "Our Story" tells the story of what it is like to live with mental illness and learning disability, and why Climb Any Mountain has been so inspired to make a difference to the lives of these individuals.

"Lend Your Voice" campaign

We have launched a Twitter campaign called “Lend Your Voice”, to raise awareness of the need to support and empower people to live the lives they love.

The campaign invites everyone to “lend their voice” by visiting the Climb Any Mountain’s website and supporting the statement

“People with learning disability and mental illness have the right to a voice and choice over their lives.”

Please support us by lending your voice now. Thank you!

Architectural competition

Look out for our next issue for a full update on the architectural competition winner and where we are with the development of the first-of-its-kind purpose built residential facility in South Africa – The Transitional Living Centre (TLC) in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal.