A Year of Virtual Events

2020 has presented many challenges for The Rugby Portobello Trust, from adapting our support to online platforms to keeping our programmes funded in the face of the pandemic.

Each year we run multiple fundraising events that engage hundreds of our supporters and raise 50% of our income for the year. We needed to adapt our events to ensure we could still raise the unrestricted funds that we need to keep our programmes flexible and adaptable to the needs of those whom we support, so all of our events went digital in 2020.

Lockdown Quiz

Our first on-line event, The Lockdown Quiz was a great success and set the bar for future virtual events. You can watch a replay of the quiz, hosted by Ian Hislop, here.

Portobello Dinner

Our biggest fundraiser of the year, our Portobello Dinner, normally welcomes 230 people for a live auction dinner at RPT.

Instead of a large-scale dinner at RPT, we asked our usual table hosts to host dinner parties of six people at their homes on 6 October this year (before we moved into Tier 2 restrictions). Our MC Alexander Armstrong and CEO Mark Simms were live-streamed to our guests, who took part in a silent auction and made generous pledges to support our programmes. You can watch a replay of the livestream here.

The evening was a resounding success, raising more than £300,000 for all of our programmes and giving us the security to weather the next few months, which we expect to bring the same amount of uncertainty as the last six months of the pandemic.

Christmas Market

Our Christmas Market, which has been running for more than 30 years, was also moved online.Supporters near and far were able to bid in our auction, shop at more than 60 stores (including RPT’s own wreaths and home produce store) and make donations to our Christmas Campaign, where their donation were doubled by our match-funders.

The event was a great success, raising more than £50,000 for RPT’s programmes, which will help see us into the next year. You can still view our online Christmas Market, browse participating online shops and donate here.

Thank you to everyone who supported us through our virtual events and helped us to adapt in unprecedented circumstances. We do hope you can join us for our Christmas Quiz on 29 December.


30th November 2020