Focus Fundraising: Under the hammer

Mikhail Gorbachev, his daughter Irina and granddaughters Anastasia and Ksenia were the guests of honour at a charity auction held at the Althorp estate in Northamptonshire to launch the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation, which helps children with cancer.

The former leader of the USSR was joined by actors Orlando Bloom and Quincy Jones, author Salman Rushdie and actress Claire Danes. Guests bid for lots including dinner with Gorbachev in Moscow and a night in a Russian maximum security prison. The Raisa Gorbachev Foundation was set up in memory of the former Soviet leader's wife, who died of leukaemia in 1999.

Gorbachev said: "Cancer is pernicious, and never more so than when it affects children."

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