A Banbury woman’s charitable efforts were recognised with a special invitation to the UK’s oldest street party after she helped raise funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Caroline Lally, a Brewers Fayre Banbury team member, was chosen to represent Whitbread PLC on the Premier Inn and Restaurants float in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity at the Lord Mayor’s Show parade in London.
Caroline was joined on the float by patients from the hospital and fundraisers from Premier Inn hotels and restaurants across the UK, as well as Eastenders and Carry On star Dame Barbara Windsor, who was there at the beginning to celebrate the partnership.
The group was cheered on by around half a million people as the procession moved through the streets of the capital.
Caroline was nominated by colleagues for her efforts in a family fun day fundraiser. She said: “It was a real honour to be selected to be a part of the Premier Inn and Restaurants Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity float.
“The day was really fun and everyone was in great spirits knowing that we were helping to raise awareness of such an amazing charity. I’m so pleased to have raised money for a really worthwhile cause.”
The float was designed to highlight the charitable partnership between Premier Inn and Restaurants and the Great Ormond Street Children’s charity and featured artwork by children from the hospital.
Premier Inn and Restaurants has met its £7.5million target a year ahead of schedule and the money has gone towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building - the newly built, state-of-the-art centre at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The world class facilities due to open in autumn next year will provide more space, privacy and comfort for patients and their families. The money was raised through a combination of employee fundraising, customer donations, company match funding and corporate events.
Amit Aggarwal, from Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, said: “Great Ormond Street Hospital treats children from across the UK with some of the rarest and most complex conditions.
“The money raised by Premier Inn fundraisers like Caroline will help us make a real difference to patients and their families, and we were thrilled to see her recognised with a place in the Lord Mayor’s Show.
“We’d like to thank Caroline and the whole team at Banbury Brewers Fayre for their incredible fundraising efforts.”
The Lord Mayor’s Show is centuries old and has floated, rolled, trotted, marched and occasionally fought its way through 801 years of London history, surviving the Black Death and the Blitz to arrive in the 21st century as one of the world’s best-loved pageants.
The parade featured over 7,000 participants, 20 bands, 150 horses and hundreds of other carriages, carts, coaches and vehicles.