Best Beginnings staff and trustees were joined by supporters, donors, Royal College Presidents and celebrities from the world of sports, music and TV on December 4th at the Grand Opening Night of the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall.

Best Be
ginnings is very proud to have been chosen by tournament owners and organisers IMG as the Official Charity Partner for the night. Being the Official Charity Partner of the event is helping us raise much needed funds and awareness to support our work to give all babies in the UK a better, healthier start in life. 

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the tennis alongside England rugby stars Leon Lloyd & Kyran Bracken MBE & TV star Alistair McGowan

The short film below featuring myself and TV Presenter and retired Tennis Professional, Andrew Castle was shown before the first match of the evening (Tim Henman v Mark Philippoussis). The film highlights the shocking inequalities in child-health across the UK and what Best Beginnings is doing to change this. Earlier in the evening VIP guests arrived for a Champagne Reception and a special dinner.

Celebrity guests on the red carpet included Sir Steve Redgrave, Kyran Bracken, Tim Henman, Lewis Moody, Andrew Castle, Katherine Grainger, Heather Watson, Alistair McGowan and Il Divo. All photos on this page were taken by Ruth Corney,


Tim Henman, Mark Philippoussis and Andrew Castle on the red carpet

Tennis legend Virginia Wade OBE Charlotte & Alistair McGowan
Olympic champion rower Steve Williams OBE & Kate Bradfield Il Divo
Michelle Heaton England rugby player Lewis Moody MBE
Tennis player Heather Watson Olympic champion rower Sir Steve Redgrave and Lady Ann Redgrave
Sky Sports presenter and Best Beginnings ambassador Charlie Webster I was joined on the red carpet by Sinem Shacolas, a mother from the Small Wonders DVD

I was also joined by representatives from a number of Royal Colleges that support Best Beginnings’ work and endorse our resources, including (from left to right) President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Dr David Richmond, Best Beginnings Trustee Sharon Walker, President of the Royal College of Midwives Lesley Page, Best Beginnings Trustee Janet Fyle, and TV Presenter and retired tennis professional Andrew Castle.

In addition to the Royal Colleges representatives featured in the photograph above, Jane Denton CBE of the Royal College of Nursing and Dr Jane Richie of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health also attended the Champagne reception and dinner along with parents featured in the Small Wonders DVD.
See below for some more photographs of the special dinner.

I am joined by Mark Krais, Leon Lloyd, Julie Watson, Kyran Bracken, Sharon Walker and Randle Shinier

Centre frame, Alan Graham, without whom the night wouldn't have happened

Charlie Webster & Marlon Devonish

Following the dinner the VIP guests were ushered to their boxes where they joined the 3,500 strong audience in the Royal Albert Hall. In the audience were doctors, neonatal nurses and midwives from all over the UK who have worked with Best Beginnings over the years – we were delighted to be able to invite them as a small thank you for their support.

It was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to address the entire audience between matches. I was joined by the amazing Sinem Shacolas, featured in our Small Wonders DVD. Presenter Andrew Castle followed our speeches with an appeal to the audience to donate by texting BEST01 followed by the amount they wished to donate to 70070. We encourage readers of this page to text to give too.

The video shows the moving speech Simen Shacolas and I delivered.

Tim Henman wows the crowd

Corporate hospitality guests had the opportunity to bid for some stunning prizes in a silent auction which raised valuable funds for the charity.
Throughout the 5 day tournament 140 volunteers helped to collect donations at the interval and at the end of every session. Huge thanks go to these wonderful volunteers.  

Best Beginnings' excellent volunteers (this photo by Danielle Taylor)

There are many ways that you can get involved, support our work and become part of the Best Beginnings Family:

A one-off donation

Click on the appeal to the right to ‘Donate Now’ online and help us give more babies in the UK the best beginning.

Regular or payroll giving

You can make a regular donation to Best Beginnings by standing order or on a tax-free basis directly from your wages. For more information contact Abigail at [email protected]. As a small charity every donation makes a big difference to our work.

Give as You Live

Sign up for Give as you Live and when you shop online a percentage of your purchase is donated to Best Beginnings without you spending a penny more. Click here to find out more and sign up. It’s quick and easy way to support us at no extra cost to you!

Best Beginnings' fundraisers play a vital role in improving the health of babies in the UK. So whether you're from Solihull or Stirling, Cardiff or Cambridge, you'll be changing the lives of young children across the nation.

Every July we have a team in the British 10k London Run. We are also always on the lookout for people to do other events to raise money for us, so whether you want to run in London, climb Kilimanjaro or jump out of a plane get in touch with Abigail at [email protected]
 or 020 7443 7895 to find out more.

There are also many less strenuous but just as important smaller fundraising events you can undertake for us. Find out more here.

Corporate support
By working in partnership with Best Beginnings you’ll have a unique opportunity to be associated with a child health charity "punching way above its weight" to affect change.

We have a fresh brand, an innovative approach and can offer your company good social return on investment and complete transparency on where and how your money is spent.

Find out more here.

Best Beginnings has been supported by some fabulous volunteers with a variety of skills and backgrounds.

We'd be delighted to hear from you if you would like to help us give all UK babies the best possible start in life.

Contact the Best Beginnings team on 020 7443 7895 or [email protected].

Together we are making a difference for future generations.