14.11.2017 Norwood Annual Dinner 2017 at Grosvenor House Hotel. (C) Blake Ezra Photography Ltd.

Former South African President FW de Klerk called on the Free World leaders to embrace the young in an impassioned speech at Norwood’s annual fundraising dinner.
The most prestigious event in the charity’s calendar attracted a record 1,350 guests to the Grosvenor House raising £3.2 million.
The focus of the evening, sponsored by the Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation, was on the younger generation – with more than 400 Young Norwood members in attendance.
Referencing this theme, De Klerk spoke to CNBC journalist and broadcaster Tania Bryer about his hopes for the youth of South Africa and beyond while encouraging intergenerational cooperation to work towards a better future.
During an informative interview, he said, “The grievances and problems of the youth are quite often totally misunderstood by the older generation,”
“I don’t think we (Klerk’s government) gave enough attention to it and I don’t think the leading parties in the free-world give enough attention to it. There is a tendency to take the youth for granted and this must come to an end.
“The youth, with all modern technologies, are part and parcel of today’s debate. And they should be able to play a prominent part in that debate.”
A co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, De Klerk paid tribute to his “special friend” who had a “visionary approach” to bring lasting change to South Africa.
He also noted how the Jewish community played an important role during a historic period.
Nicola Mendelsohn, Joint President of Norwood with husband Lord Mendelsohn, spoke about the future of Norwood.
Lady Mendelsohn, who announced plans to expand services in Hertfordshire as the community grows, said: “As we ready ourselves for the years ahead, be assured that we will never stop in our quest to provide outstanding service to anyone who needs it.”
She pledged that Norwood will “continue to evolve to ensure that we serve the needs of our community with the best facilities, the best staff, the best practices and the best of care and support that can be provided.”
Guests heard a moving speech from 20-year-old Jodeci Joseph, who was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 17 and struggled with life throughout his teenage years.
Speaking about the challenges he faced, Jodeci, the son of a Nigerian father and Jewish mother, said before Norwood he’d felt “totally out of my depth” and “didn’t want to be in this world anymore.”
He described the beginning of his relationship with Norwood, especially with child and adolescent psychotherapist Sue, as “the part of my journey where I began to break free”.
“Sue helped me see things differently and over time she helped me improve my confidence, empowering me to believe that it is okay to be myself,” he said. “I didn’t have to live up to the high expectations I placed on myself and that I am extremely special, just as I am.”
Britain’s Got Talent’s sole winning magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones wowed guests with a magical performance.
Norwood is the largest Jewish charity in the UK supporting vulnerable children and their families, children with special educational needs and people with learning disabilities and autism.
Founded in 1795, Norwood is one of the United Kingdom’s oldest charities and the only Jewish charity to enjoy the patronage of The Queen.
The charity helps children and adults maximise their potential at home, school and throughout their lives through personalised services.
Requiring £35m to keep services running annually, £12m comes through voluntary donations. Facilities include 55 residential, supported living and family centres across London and the South East.
Norwood currently runs eight charity shops across North and East London through the support of 150 dedicated volunteers.
Corporate fundraising and networking events take place throughout the year.
Business events include The Property Lunch, Distressed Investing Dinner, Business Breakfast, Private Equity Dinner and YN’s Business, Finance and Entrepreneurs’ Dinner.