Lunch With An Old Bag reveals that nearly £8million has now been raised to help young people in Scotland

11/09/2023
The event included a musicals-themed auction with one item raising £23,000

THE flagship charity event, “Lunch With An Old Bag”, has raised another £606,000 to help change the lives of young Scots supported by The Prince’s Trust Scotland, with a total of nearly £8million having now been raised during the event’s 15 year history. 

The glittering Lunch With An Old Bag event, sponsored by Edinburgh’s Prestonfield House and luxury jeweller Boodles, has been hosted each year since 2009 at Prestonfield House Hotel by its owner and event founder James Thomson OBE; and this year attracted 400 VIPs, celebrities and influencers from across Scotland and the wider United Kingdom.

Prince’s Trust Scotland ambassadors and radio presenters Des Clarke and Amy Irons oversaw the event, and were joined by TV celebrities Christopher Biggins and Natasha Raskin Sharp from Bargain Hunt and BBC Radio Scotland, as well as renowned broadcaster Grant Stott.

Celebrities including Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster, Midge Ure, Mylene Klass and Andi Peters sent video messages wishing Lunch With An Old Bag attendees every success in raising money to help young people change their lives and be successful in their fledgling careers.

The event, with a West End musicals theme, included an auction of second-hand bags, with the Gucci Diana Mini Tote raising £10,000 and the Hermès Birkin Bag going for a staggering £23,000. 

Over 100 items were also put up in the silent auction, including afternoon tea with gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh, a treehouse stay at Chewton Glen, a one-week stay in the Caribbean island of Mustique, a large, captivating Highland cow portrait and a Rick Astley concert extravaganza.

Christopher Biggins also raised a further £20,000 from his appearance on ITV’s Tipping Point quiz show.

Guest speakers included Trust supported young ambassadors, Shannon and Alex, who told their stories about struggling to find jobs and how they had been helped by The Prince’s Trust Scotland to forge new career paths. 

Jonathan Townsend, Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “Young people today are facing a unique set of circumstances that continue to have a debilitating impact on their education, employment and wellbeing. The funds raised so far at Lunch With An Old Bag will make an incredible impact, enabling us to support thousands of Scottish young people to build the confidence and skills they need to achieve their potential. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this year, and over the last 15 years.”

Doreen Davidson, Chair of the Lunch with an Old Bag Committee, said: “The generosity of those involved or attending Lunch With An Old Bag knows no bounds, and we are proud of how the Scottish community joins together to raise so much for local young people. We know that the money donated improves so many lives and it is gratifying to see it make such an impact.”

Founder of Lunch with an Old Bag, and owner of Prestonfield House Hotel, James Thomson OBE, added: “I’m so pleased to see Lunch With An Old Bag getter better and better with age. Our team are so pleased to see so many young people being supported to find work, start their own business or get back into education. The life skills they develop from the money raised are invaluable.”

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