HARRY Potter star Emma Watson took time off from filming the latest instalment of the blockbuster franchise to attend a star-studded event at Monte Carlo for Liverpool’s Safe Place Appeal.
The black tie reception at the glamorous Hotel Hermitage raised more than £250,000 for the NSPCC’s Hargreaves Centre on Great Homer Street, Everton.
Sir Trevor McDonald gave the after dinner speech, while a charity auction saw guests bid for – among other prizes – a chance to be Simon Cowell’s personal guest at a live X Factor show, and a limited edition of Postcards from the Boys by Ringo Starr, including an opportunity to meet the former Beatle himself.
The fundraising dinner came about after the Monaco 08 Committee was formed by a group of women who were inspired by the work for abused children that takes place in the NSPCC’s flagship Merseyside building.
The committee created a food-themed event called Taittinger & Truffles 08, designed to attract new and existing supporters to come together in one of the most glamorous cities in the world and to raise funds for the new Hargreaves Centre.
The centre was named after its main benefactor, Liverpool-born Matalan founder John Hargreaves, who brought a table of international guests to the event.
He said: “It is brilliant to see so many others joining in to support two charities that are so close to my heart. As a result of our collective efforts tonight has raised over £250,000.”
The star lot at the charity auction was a suite of jewels by Chopard, which was flown in under special security arrangements for the event.
The Hargreaves Centre is being funded by the Daily Post-backed Safe Place Appeal, which aims to raise £17m to cover the cost of the building and all NSPCC services in Merseyside for a 10-year period.