ARK does it again with £25m fundraising dinner

Children's charity Absolute Return for Kids has raised more than £25m at its annual fundraising dinner for the second year running.

The event – which was held at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich on 5 June – was attended by 1,100 guests, predominately from the financial sector.

An ARK statement said the £25.52m raised had "far exceeded organisers' hopes, particularly given the more difficult economic environment". Last year, ARK staged what is believed to have been the most successful gala dinner in British history, raising £26.6m.

Funding raised at this year's event will be used to pay for a number of programmes including a project to train head teachers in India. The aim of the initiative is to improve the literacy and numeracy of more than 100,000 pupils.

Among the speakers at this year's event was former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He said: "This evening demonstrates both the power and the value of philanthropy. ARK's international effectiveness in mobilising private charitable commitment, superb business acumen and government support has changed the lives of thousands of children."

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