In Aid of
Bee Sanctuaries in Scottish Gardens
Amount donated: £23,723
"I am delighted to welcome you to the fifth Women of Achievement Luncheon.
I understand that last year’s Lunch was the most outstanding success, raising a huge amount in support of our precious, threatened Red Squirrels. Thanks to your wonderfully generous support, the future of one our most charming native species is just a little bit more secure...
I was equally thrilled to learn that this year’s beneficiary will be the nation’s honey bees. For several years now, I have been particularly keen to find ways of helping to reverse the decline of bees. It is with alarming frequency that one hears of scientists discovering new diseases posing new threats to British bees. Coupled with the worrying trend of colony collapse, and the ever-mounting challenge of climate change, the future for our poor bees is bleak indeed — unless urgent and effective action is taken.
Bees are a vital link in the precious chain of life that sustains us. Without pollinating bees, we face the drastic loss of crop-lands, fruit orchards, flower-rich grasslands and meadows. This is far too great a risk to run.
Your generous assistance will support hives at The Castle of Mey, Invereray Castle, Pitmedden, Threave Castle and Dumfries House. These sites will not only establish five new bee colonies, they will doubtless also inspire some of the visitors to take up bee-keeping. There can be no greater legacy than encouraging others to follow where you lead. For that, and so much more, | really cannot thank you enough.
This comes with my special gratitude for your continued support and my warmest good wishes for an enjoyable and entertaining lunch."
HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay
Kate has spent her life educating children. Firstly, as the founding Headmistress of Broomwood Hall which she started with 12 pupils in 1984, followed by Northcote Lodge, a boys prep school in 1983 and recently Northwood Senior, which opened its doors in September 2020. As Chairman of the Board of Northwood Schools, Kate oversees the education of over 760 pupils in South West London.
In addition, as a Trustee of the Northwood African Education Foundation, she also helped to set up St George’s School, which currently educates over 400 orphans in Gondar, one of the poorest regions in Ethiopia.
She and her husband Malcolm have three children and three grandchildren and divide their time between Luss, in Scotland, and London. Her hobbies include walking, reading and flying.
"Welcome to the 2012 Scottish Women of Achievement Lunch
It is wonderful that so many of you have returned to support our Fifth lunch and | would also like to extend a warm welcome to those of you who join us today for the first time. |
am well aware that each and every one of you spend much of your time juggling many things in your daily life and | couldn’t be more delighted that you have taken a moment to be with us today. It is good to know that even in these uncertain times, we can enjoy a delicious lunch, meet up with old friends, hopefully make some new ones and have the bonus of listening to three fascinating and different speakers.
This year the proceeds of our lunch will be used to help Bees. Why bees you may ask? Well, over the past 50 years or so there has been a steady decline in bee populations in Britain. No-one is exactly sure why but they think it is due to the reduction of wild flowers in the countryside. Therefore, we intend to establish Bee Sanctuaries in five Scottish gardens that are open to the public for everyone to go and see. Your money will provide two beehives, a swarm of bees, as well as an extensive array of plants, which will provide the nectar and pollen so vital to the bee’s survival. These will be delivered later on in the Spring and you will be able to follow their progress on the garden websites. We are particularly grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales for giving us his support again this year and backing our initiative.
We are also very grateful to our speakers Celia Imrie, Star of Stage and Screen, Ann Widdecombe, former MP and Minister of State, currently Novelist and TV celebrity and Victoria Stapleton, founder and Creative Director of Brora, for so willingly giving up their time to entertain us today. Thank you.
Finally, a big thank you to all of you for coming and making today possible. I hope to see you all again next year."
Kate Colquhoun of Luss
Celia Imrie – Actress star of stage and screen
Celia is a well known English actress and author. She is known for her work with Victoria Wood, including Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV (1985–1987), the sitcom Dinnerladies (1998–2000) and Acorn Antiques: The Musical, for which she won the 2006 Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical. She is also known for her film roles, including the Bridget Jones film series, Calendar Girls (2003), Nanny McPhee (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015), Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) and Malevolent (2018).
Her debut novel Not Quite Nice was published by Bloomsbury in 2015 and had six weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten, cited as a 'delicious piece of entertainment'. Her other novels include Nice Work (If You Can Get It), Sail Away, and A Nice Cup of Tea.
Celia lives in London and in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Victoria Stapleton – Founder and Creative Director, Brora
Victoria Stapleton is the founding owner and creative director
behind the luxury cashmere and fashion label Brora, which has
é become one of the most successful, almost exclusively British-made retail and mail order brands in the UK.
Brought up in an entrepreneurial family, Victoria was keen to run her own business after completing her studies in Interior Design and a degree in Art History. When in 1990 her family bought Hunters of Brora, a 100 year old tweed mill based on the east coast of Scotland, Victoria was put in charge of the Mill’s retail venture in Brora village, selling Hunters of Brora tweed and a variety of clothing, all sourced from Scottish suppliers.
In 1993 Victoria left for London to start her own company with a 7,000 customer mailing list and permission to use the Brora name, selling the best of Scottish clothing using Hunters tweed and Scottish cashmere.
The Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe – Former MP and Minister of State. Currently Broadcaster, Novelist and TV Personality
Ann was born in 1947 in Bath. Her father was the Head of Naval Supplies and Transport at the Ministry of Defence. She was educated at the Royal Naval School Singapore, La Sainte Union Convent Bath, Birmingham University (BA Hons Latin) and Oxford University (BA Hons Politics, Philosophy and Economics) LMH MA 1976.
Ann worked in marketing at Unilever from 1973 to 1975 and was Senior Administrator at London University from 1975 to 1987. From 1987 to 2010 she was the Member of Parliament for Maidstone. Over the years she held a number of posts including Minister of State Department of Employment 1994, Minister of State Home Office 1995 with responsibility for prisons and immigration, Shadow Health Secretary 1998 and Shadow Home Secretary 1999.
In 2000 Ann wrote the Clematis Tree which rose to number 8 in the Times Best Seller List and has written a number of novels since. She has a weekly newspaper column in the Daily Express. Ann has also presented numerous television and radio programmes, starring in the 2010 series of Strictly Come Dancing. She has a new quiz show called Clever Dicks on Sky and an established pantomime role with Craig Revel-Horwood.