Old Bags show they can help Scotland’s young people with £760,000 raised in one afternoon


A Moulin Rouge performance at an Edinburgh hotel has raised over three quarters of a million pounds for The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

On 6 September the ‘Lunch with an Old Bag’ charity event raised an astounding £760,000 to help change the lives of more than 760 young people supported by the charity.

Joining over 300 ladies at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh (affectionately nicknamed ‘Old Bags’) were performers from the world-famous Moulin Rouge.

Celebrating the iconic cabaret’s 130th anniversary, Moulin Rouge dancers Lucy Monaghan, from Glasgow and Michaella Rondelli, from Perth returned home with lead dancer Sarah Tandy, from Whitburn, to support the ‘Old Bags’ in raising much-needed funds for The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Dressed in showstopping vintage Swarovski costumes, the dancers presented the ‘Fast Bags’ auction, raising almost £50,000 by auctioning off handbags from the likes of Chloe, Gucci, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino.

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The Moulin Rouge dancers were joined by fellow performer Mario Berousek and singers and dancers choreographed by James Bennett from London’s West End.

Heart FM DJ and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Des Clarke took up hosting duties to keep high profile guests, such as long standing supporter and honorary ‘Old Bag’ Christopher Biggins, entertained throughout the day, alongside Capital DJ Amy Irons.

Grant Stott headed up the Live Auction, which featured a blacksmithed steel ArtFe Highland Coo artwork from Mr Brainwash, a Norwegian Cunard cruise and a much-coveted Hermes Birkin.

Since it began in 2009, Lunch with an Old Bag has raised more than £5m which directly helped thousands of young Scots.

Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador Sophie Ross shared her story alongside other Young Ambassadors at the event.

Sophie, who now works as a Call Handler after completing a Prince’s Trust programme in partnership with NHS24, previously suffered from depression and didn’t work in six years.

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She said: “The Prince’s Trust gave me my confidence back because they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Working for NHS24 I now have pride and passion, something that was lost to me for years.

“So, I know exactly how important events like Lunch with an Old Bag are and how the money raised has a positive impact on young people’s lives. To be here and spend time with so many amazing women who have donated not only their money but time to be here each year has been brilliant. As a young person who has benefitted from The Prince’s Trust I can’t thank the Old Bags enough.”

This year’s funds will support young people across Scotland in developing the skills and confidence they need to live, learn and earn.

Fiona Donaldson, Chair of the Lunch with an Old Bag volunteer committee, said: “Every year we’re astounded by the generosity of our guests, and this year’s support has been exceptional. And it simply wouldn’t happen without the incredible support of so many extraordinary people, including our loyal and enthusiastic sponsors. It just shows the difference a room full of “Old Bags” can make.”

Founder James Thomson OBE, who has hosted the invitation-only event at Prestonfield every year, added: “Every young person should have the chance to succeed, and with the right support and understanding, this generation of young people, who face challenges which simply couldn’t have been imagined when LWOB was launched in 2009, will fulfill their potential. We can’t thank our guests enough for helping make this ambition a reality.”

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