This year’s Lunch with an Old Bag charity event raised an astounding £760,000 to help change the lives of more than 760 young people supported by The Prince’s Trust Scotland, on Friday, 6 September.

Joining over 300 of Scotland’s most influential, stylish and generous ladies at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh - where the money was raised through an auction of luxury prizes - were performers from the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Celebrating the iconic cabaret’s 130th anniversary, Moulin Rouge dancers Lucy Monaghan, from Glasgow and Michaella Rondelli, from Perth returned home with lead dancer Sarah Tandy, from Whitburn, to support the ‘Old Bags’ in raising much-needed funds for The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Presenting the event favourite ‘Fast Bags’ auction, while showcasing 12 showstopping vintage handmade Swarovski costumes featured in Toulouse Lautrec’s famous posters, the Scottish dancers dazzled guests with a series of designer handbags from Chloe, Gucci, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino to name but a few, raising almost £50,000 for The Prince’s Trust in the quick-fire auction round.

Having reached the very pinnacle of their profession, The Moulin Rouge dancers were joined by fellow performer Mario Berousek who holds the titles as the World’s Fastest Juggler, and singers and dancers choreographed by James Bennett from London’s West End, to help inspire young people to be the best they can be, and showcase how The Prince’s Trust helps young people across Scotland realise and achieve their dreams.

Heart FM DJ and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Des Clarke took up hosting duties to keep high profile guests, such as long standing supporter and honorary ‘Old Bag’ Christopher Biggins, entertained throughout the day, alongside Capital DJ Amy Irons; with Grant Stott heading up the Live Auction which featured a blacksmithed steel ArtFe Highland Coo, artwork from Mr Brainwash, a Norwegian Cunard cruise and a much-coveted etoupe Hermes Birkin.

Since it began in 2009, Lunch with an Old Bag has raised more than £5m which directly helped thousands of young Scots.

Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador Sophie Ross shared her story alongside other Young Ambassadors at the event. Sophie, who now works as a Call Handler after completing a Prince’s Trust programme in partnership with NHS24, previously suffered from depression and didn’t work in six years.

She said:

The Prince’s Trust gave me my confidence back because they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Working for NHS24 I now have pride and passion, something that was lost to me for years.

“So, I know exactly how important events like Lunch with an Old Bag are and how the money raised has a positive impact on young people’s lives. To be here and spend time with so many amazing women who have donated not only their money but time to be here each year has been brilliant. As a young person who has benefitted from The Prince’s Trust I can’t thank the Old Bags enough.”

This year’s funds will support young people across Scotland in developing the skills and confidence they need to live, learn and earn. 

Fiona Donaldson, Chair of the Lunch with an Old Bag volunteer committee, said:

Every year we’re astounded by the generosity of our guests, and this year’s support has been exceptional. And it simply wouldn’t happen without the incredible support of so many extraordinary people, including our loyal and enthusiastic sponsors. It just shows the difference a room full of “Old Bags” can make.

Founder James Thomson OBE, who has hosted the invitation-only event at Prestonfield every year, added:

Every young person should have the chance to succeed, and with the right support and understanding, this generation of young people, who face challenges which simply couldn’t have been imagined when LWOB was launched in 2009, will fulfil their potential. We can’t thank our guests enough for helping make this ambition a reality.