London SE1 website team

14 million raised at ARK fundraising party at Waterloo International

The Queen of Jordan was one of 800 guests at the ARK fundraising dinner held at Waterloo International on Thursday night.

"I'm pleased that, in the coming year, my education foundation will partner with ARK to invest in South Africa's teachers, through leadership training programmes, that will turn failing schools into first class institutions," Queen Rania said during her speech.

Her Majesty was welcomed by ARK founder Arpad Busson and his girlfriend Uma Thurman.

ARK chair Stanley Fink said: "Our seven year programme to provide antiretroviral therapy in South Africa has changed the lives of more than 115,000 children and treated 10 per cent of all patients on treatment in South Africa."

Schools in England sponsored by the ARK charity include the Globe Academy in Harper Road and Walworth Academy in Shorncliffe Road.

New education secretary Michael Gove put in a brief appearance early in the evening. Others prsent included Kevin Spacey, Lord Levy, Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova and Tessa Dahl.

The party raised just over 14 million with guests paying 10,000 a head and raffle tickets selling for 5,000. A Fiat 500 painted by Damien Hirst was auctioned for 90,000.

Entertainment included comedy from Steve Coogan and music from The Killers.

Electrical services firm Fulcher Edwards, who have their base at Waterloo International, provided The Killers with 110 transformers so they could play at the ball.

It is the second year that ARK has used Waterloo's disused Eurostar terminal as the venue for its party.

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