Last week I had the pleasure of joining my friend Theo Fennell for a charity fundraising dinner, in honour of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
One of Britain’s most iconic and imaginative jewellers, Theo Fennell is widely admired for his ability to craft the wildest and most whimsical of themes into pieces of extraordinary beauty. His remarkable creations attracted Elton John’s keen eye for artistic originality many years ago – Sir Elton has remained a devoted patron of Theo’s work ever since.
This fundraising event for Sir Elton’s Foundation – of which both Theo and his wife Louise are Patrons – was held at Theo Fennell’s flagship store on Fulham Road. It was refreshing to meet some of the Foundation’s directors and learn of the sincere humanity and optimism that underlies their commitment to the cause. After the dinner they introduced a talk, explaining how the Foundation’s incredible work is helping hundreds of thousands of people across the world.
The key message of Sir Elton’s initiative is compassion – the need to treat those afflicted by HIV/AIDS with kindness and dignity, free from judgement and discrimination. While scientific discoveries are constantly moving forward, medical treatment needs to go hand-in-hand with promoting awareness and eliminating prejudice – which is exactly what the Foundation has been fighting for since its inception in 1992.