On the last warm day of the summer, 200 guests were treated to a special evening at The LookOut in the heart of Hyde Park with sensational world music and cooking demonstrations from world class chefs, at Ashden’s first Party in the Park. The night culminated in an auction, kicked off by host John Humphrys, which led to a total raised on the night of nearly £100,000. The money raised will allow Ashden to continue its important work supporting clean energy champions around the world.
The theme of the evening was clean cookstoves. Indoor air pollution is a little-recognised problem yet every year 4.3 million die from conditions resulting from cooking over smoky fires and inefficient cookstoves. Insulated, efficient cookstoves like the ones made by Greenway Appliances and Burn Manufacturing are less polluting and require significantly less firewood than open fires. Broadcaster and ‘Gastronaut’ Stefan Gates got leading London chefs Sam Clark and Ben Tish to try their hand at cooking on the Ashden Award-winning stoves, and Kenyan chef Susan Kamau made a special trip from Nairobi to show us how it’s done over there.
Veteran broadcaster John Humphrys shared stories from his 30 years as a Today Programme presenter and Mastermind host, and highlighted the fact that Ashden’s work helps to alleviate the refugee crisis, as our winners’ solutions improve living conditions in countries from which people are fleeing.
It was standing room only for the main event of the night – the live auction – and Christie’s auctioneer James Bruce-Gardyne expertly conducted the bidding, leading to huge bids of £3,000 for lunch with Louis Theroux, £11,000 for a holiday in Antigua, and £9000 for a Nic Fiddian-Green sculpture.
Guests included environmentalist and Ashden Chair, Jonathan Porritt, and Jason Cooper, drummer of The Cure, who had donated a drumming masterclass. Ashden would like to thank all who attended. Special thanks also to those (listed below) who donated prizes.
Wahaca, Jason Cooper, John Humphrys, The Zetter Group/Mark Sainsbury, Louis Theroux, Sir Timothy and Lady Sainsbury, The Mill Reef Club, Grace Yu, Nic Fiddian-Green, Jakes Jamaica, John Julian, Sam Kiley, Serena Foyle, Guillaume Bonn, Claire Birch, Indagare, Reeves Gabrels, Tabitha Robertson, Sasha Dorey, Asa Simonsson, Anna Bauer, Roslyn Sulcas, The Grain Store, Ella Henderson, The Endellion Quartet, Takane Funatsu, Sally Clarke, Claire Whitman, Lord Rothschild, Formula E.