ARK raises GBP 17.2m for children's programmes

9 June, 2011

The international children's charity ARK, (Absolute Return for Kids) last night marked its 10th anniversary with a charity dinner in Kensington Palace Gardens. The event was attended by Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and more than 1,000 guests.Guests commemorated a decade in which the initiative of a handful of committed philanthropists grew into an ambitious, entrepreneurial, charity which has transformed the lives of 200,000 children from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa, India and the UK. The dinner was addressed by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge on behalf of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. The Duke announced a new venture between ARK and the Princes' Foundation to support young people in the UK and Africa.His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge said: "I know that I am very fortunate. I have had a good education, a secure home and a loving and supportive family. So many young people, however, do not have these advantages and, as a result, can lack the confidence and knowledge to realise their full potential. That is why I am so pleased that the Foundation and ARK are working together on this project to help young people who really need it. Programmes from this partnership will raise aspirations, broaden horizons and encourage young people to achieve what may have seemed to them unachievable."ARK's Founding Chairman, Arpad Busson said:"Tonight is the culmination of an extraordinary decade for ARK and its programmes. None of us dreamed ten years ago that we could achieve so much."Our achievements would not have been possible without the extraordinary support of our donors, sponsors, patrons and friends.We thank you each and every one of them for their incredible generosity. I also want to offer special thanks to our sponsors, BlueCrest, Bloomberg, Espirito Santo Investment Bank and Marshall Wace, without whom this evening, and all that it enables us to do, would not be possible.We thank also for their remarkable support and generosity, Kevin Spacey, Tom Ford, Anna Wintour, Elena Ambrosiadou, Harvey Weinstein and Eric Fellner."