Chai clients and generous supporters wowed the 250 guests as they sashayed down the catwalk at ‘Strictly Chai Fashion with Averyl’ at Kinloss. This was the first in-person event for more than two and a half years and the energy and excitement in the room was palpable. Click here to see photos from the event.
The fabulous show, expertly choreographed by Averyl, showcased Autumn/Winter ’22/’23 and raised more than £90,000. The collection included designers; Valentino, MaxMara, Diane von Furstenburg, Riani, Luisa Cerano, D.Exterior and many more.
A delicious and beautifully presented lunch was then served by Ben Tenenblat and his wonderful team.
After lunch, guests had a chance to hear from Chai client and Porto & Bello founder, Alexia Baron who spoke about how Chai helped her and her family through her cancer journey. Alexia said: “In March 2020, 29 years old and 34 weeks pregnant with my second child I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The very next day my GP surgery closed and 5 days later the UK went into lockdown. My world was turned upside down and I was left in the dark. Not only was the world going through such a difficult and scary time, but my family and I were going through our own very scary battle ourselves. I can’t say I remember too much about the days around my diagnosis. All I can remember was feeling overwhelmed. My husband picked up the phone and called Chai.
Whilst the world was closing down, Chai stayed open. Not physically, but emotionally for all of us going through cancer. Because not even Covid was going to stop cancer. We spoke to a couple’s counsellor and since that phone call, my husband and I still speak to our counsellor on a weekly basis. I cannot begin to explain the gratitude we have in our lives for this person.
Chai was started years ago because something was missing in the Jewish community. A support for families and patients going through cancer did not exist and look at what is has become today. It has supported so many families in need and that is something that has driven me in my own life. Sitting for hours and hours on end having weekly treatment I didn’t understand why so many patients were sitting half exposed. When you start having chemotherapy, you are offered to have a port put in or a PICC line to help administer the drugs. While my port became my best friend, I even named it – It’s awkwardly placed on your body. I created Porto and Bello, named after my port – an accessible clothing brand that allows cancer patients going through medical treatment to feel comfortable.”
Guest speaker was award winning businesswoman and Apprentice interviewer, Linda Plant who had the room spellbound listening to her fascinating life story. Her can-do attitude to find the positive in every situation was a great message for all those present.
Chai’s Chairman, Louise Hager, said: ” Today is all about women. At Chai there is never a one size fits all and services are tailored to meet each person’s individual needs. For women this means dealing with the profound changes that can occur to the body and emotions as a result of cancer surgery or treatment. Our clients can’t ignore what’s happening to them – so neither can Chai.
We provide a safe space where no subject is taboo and our services are always delivered with sensitivity and expertise by Chai’s team lead by our devoted CEO, Lisa Steele.
It is truly wonderful to see so many of our loyal friends and supporters here after such a long time. As we emerge from the pandemic, the forgotten C of cancer is returning to the forefront. 50,000 missed diagnoses are now working their way into the health system. In addition to the immediate increase in clients turning to Chai, it often means they come to us with far more complex and serious needs. Your generous support helps us to meet this demand.”