After being approached directly by the Eastleigh Mayor’s office, Eastleigh College Events Management students worked in collaboration with its Hospitality and Catering learners to deliver a successful gala dinner for the Mayors Appeal.
The evening, which was hosted at The Botley Park Hotel, saw over 100 guests gather in order to raise money for the Mayors charities; The Alzheimer’s Society, National Autistic Society (South Hants branch), Wildern Opportunity Group and the Hedge End, West End and Botley Scouts groups.
Commenting on the success of the evening, Councillor Bruce Tennent, Mayor of Eastleigh said,
‘It was a brilliant event and all of the students did an amazing job. The Event Management students were organised and professional throughout and I felt confident having them organise the event. The canapés and three course meal prepared by the Hospitality and Catering students were delicious and we were very well looked after.
‘I approached Eastleigh College directly as I know what an excellent reputation their restaurant has, and was keen to hold a charity event there. I was delighted to learn that there was an opportunity to work with them and the Event Management students by holding a Charity Dinner at the Botley Park Hotel.’
Guests of the night, which included neighbouring Mayors from Southampton, Winchester, Fareham and Havant, were immersed in a wonderlandthemed evening. This included a rose and playing card covered entrance and uniquely themed table centre pieces, all of which were created by hand by the Media, Marketing and Events Management students, as part of the thorough planning for the evening.
Alannah, who had been working on the event since December, commented,
‘Although we were working for an external client instead of a college team, we treated it as any other event and wanted to do it to the best of our ability. It was great to see how much fun people were having on the night and see what all of our hard work had achieved. I think as a group it really taught us how to be confident talking to people, as well as more general skills like negotiating, which you can use in any job, not just events.’
Working in partnership with the Events Management students, Hospitality and Catering learners greeted guests with arrival cocktails and high-end canapés as well as a three course dinner which included a layered salmon terrine, roasted supreme of chicken, raspberry and white chocolate crème brulee and a range of petit fours.
Chloe, a Level 3 Hospitality & Catering student who helped piece together the exquisite menu, the ingredients for which were kindly donated by a range of sponsors, added,
‘We did all the preparation for the event the day before in the college kitchens to ensure that the event ran smoothly. I had a particular part of the meal which I was in charge of preparing and really enjoyed seeing everything come together on the night.’
In order to raise crucial funds for the Mayors charities, guests were also treated to a raffle and silent auction, which students sourced from local businesses. Sophie, a Level 3 Media, Marketing and Events student who helped co-ordinate this, commented, “Everyone worked so hard to source some amazing prizes for the evening, which included a 6 course tasting menu for two at Chewten Glen Hotel and a Ford Mustang for the weekend. One lady bid on so many, that she won over £600 in prizes! For me, it taught me to just ask; people can only say no!”
The evening, which raised £3610.77, concluded with live music from the Strolling Stones.