Last week, we welcomed the Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and key sponsors to London’s Mansion House to celebrate the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch.


A celebratory reception was held last Tuesday, 21st September, which included an announcement of fundraising results of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch. Prominent figures, along with our key supporters from Phoenix, have gathered at London’s Mansion House to thank everyone for their efforts in raising over £200,000 for HM Armed Forces.

This year, for the first time, the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch went online. While we were prevented from holding our annual event at London’s Guildhall due to COVID-19 restrictions, we were thrilled by the number of supporters who got involved with our three-month programme of virtual events and activities; including curry cook-alongs, a champagne masterclass, wine tastings, silent auctions and authors’ conversations.

The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch was supported by renowned chefs such as Prue Leith and Cyprus Todiwala, who hosted a series of curry cook-alongs on live-stream, sharing their finest recipes. With ingredients delivered to their doorstep – as well as the perfect wine to accompany the dishes – supporters could learn how to make delectable dishes from the comfort of their home.

For all the wine connoisseurs, Edouard Moueix led a virtual masterclass and guided tasting from his chateau in Bordeaux, encompassing the history, making and character of the wines of Moueix.

Our Authors’ Series, featuring a host of prominent figures, also proved extremely popular. ‘Travelers Tales’, a conversation between famed writer and comedian Sir Michael Palin and international explorer Levison Wood, gave insight into some fascinating adventures and witty stories, followed by an interactive Q & A.

The Lord Mayor’s Big Lunch Committee was delighted to have Phoenix Group as its first ever principal sponsor this year. It was fantastic news for our charity, especially in light of the challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with their support, as well as the collective engagement from our supporters, the event has raised a total of £205,000 for the three service charities – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Lord Mayor, the Lady Mayoress, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were present at the celebratory reception.

All funds raised will support employment opportunities for former members of HM Armed Forces. We also aim to fund up to 18 veterans to attend King Edward VII’s Hospital’s Pain Management Programme, helping those who are affected by debilitating pain to manage their symptoms and work towards employment.

Clare Hawkins, Director of Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations at Phoenix Group, said: “We were delighted to be supporting this year’s Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch. Phoenix Group’s purpose is to help people secure a life of possibilities and that’s exactly what the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is all about, helping veterans manage their pain and return to work, so they have a life that is not limited but full of potential.

We have many former service personnel at Phoenix and a particularly active Armed Forces Network that is led by our colleagues. We see first-hand the diversity of thought and skills that former service personnel bring to our organisation, which is why we were particularly keen to support the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch. We hope that all those that took part thoroughly enjoyed this year’s virtual events and know they have contributed to a programme that really does change lives, harnesses skills and contribute to a diverse workforce and thriving community.

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