This year’s Lunch with an Old Bag charity event sponsored by Carbon Financial was a roaring success and raised more than half a million pounds to help change the lives of young Scots - with a little help from Jerry Hall.

The charity event in aid of The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, has now raised almost £6m since it began, and on Friday 10th September 250 of Scotland’s most influential and stylish ladies and gentlemen gathered at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh to enjoy a 1920s themed extravaganza.

Joining the guests was host Des Clarke along with Amy Irons, Auctioneer Alex Fleming and Christopher Biggins, singers and dancers from the London West End stage, and Jerry Hall who sent a video message thanking those in attendance for their generosity.

Money was raised during a glittering auction that featured, an exclusive wine and dine experience at Prestonfield House with the Bichot family, Burgundy’s top land owners and producers, a lunch with fashion royalty Anya Hindmarch CBE, a gorgeous Hermès Birkin bag and stunning jewellery from Theo Fennell to name a few and the annual quick-fire ‘fast bag’ auction which saw an array of designer handbags from Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Gucci being snapped up.

Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador Emma-May Millar, 22, from Falkirk was also in attendance and told the audience how she had been impacted by the pandemic and lockdown.

Suffering from anxiety and little confidence for many years, Emma-May was on an upward journey with The Prince’s Trust when her course had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus crisis.

A carer for her parents, Emma-May has struggled with her mental health after many years of personal challenges at school left her with severe anxiety and low self-esteem.

After spotting an advert on Facebook for The Prince’s Trust, she started out by working on her confidence and groupwork skills, she then completed the John Muir Award and took part in The Trust’s Girls Week. Emma was anxious about the experience at first, but she pushed through her fears, making friends, and enjoying the experience.

Being a part of The Prince’s Trust and building friendships meant that I felt comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. My confidence was improving, and I had hope for the future. I was really enjoying life when lockdown was announced.

She said: “I found this difficult to deal with. Lockdown meant I had to make drastic changes to my routine, and I began to feel like my personal progress was going backwards by having to stay in the house. My anxiety and depression began to get much worse but thankfully I started to get a wellbeing call from The Prince’s Trust twice a week. This has been so important for me to maintain good mental health as I feel less isolated.

“I then started to take part in group video calls and I really enjoyed these as it reminded me of the fun I had while doing group work pre-lockdown. For the rest of lockdown, I worked on my employability and personal skills and completed an Access course to Stirling University. I’m now about to enter my first year at Stirling Uni doing Law.”

This year’s funds are needed more than ever as the lasting effects of the pandemic and lockdown impact on young people’s wellbeing, employment, and education opportunities.

Doreen Davidson, Chair of the Lunch with an Old Bag Committee, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to have an in-person event this year and we are astounded by the generosity of our ‘Old Bags’ yet again. It’s been an incredibly difficult 18 months for us all, but we know that young people have been particularly hit hard and to know that this money will go directly to helping young Scots to improve their lives by getting the support they need to get a job, start a business or re-enter education is fantastic.”

Founder of Lunch with an Old Bag James Thomson OBE, who has hosted the invitation-only event at Prestonfield every year, added: “Each year I’m never quite sure how it will go and every time I’m overwhelmed by our ‘Old Bags’. Their generosity over the years has supported over 5000 young lives in Scotland and the amount raised this year will allow hundreds more to fulfil their potential at a time when they need our support the most.”

Shireen Fernie, Operations Director at Carbon Financial, Headline Sponsors for LWOB, added: ‘’It’s a privilege to sponsor Lunch with an Old Bag. There couldn’t be a better destination for the funds raised and we know it was be a rip-roaring event.’’