Stars set to shine for charity celebrations


Britain′s Got Talent winner and Royal Variety performer Jai McDowall will join Scottish songstress Rachelle Rhienne to entertain guests at 35th anniversary celebrations for global charity WaterAid.

Northumbrian Water is organising the event, at Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, which will also see the charity receive a special blessing from the Archdeacon of Auckland, the Venerable Nick Barker. Money raised at the event will be match funded by Barclays.

Rachelle′s performance comes hot on the heels of her having entertained guests at the annual WaterAid Ball at the Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel last month.

Jai said: “I’m looking forward to performing at this event for WaterAid’s 35th anniversary and hope it’s a great evening.”

Entertainment at the party, which will take place in the Castle′s Chapel - Europe′s largest private chapel - will also include a quartet from the Young Sinfonia, made up of students from the Centre For Advanced Training.

As the date of the event - Thursday, July 21 - approaches, organisers are still also hoping that their social media campaign to attract the attention of Take That star Gary Barlow may bring the former X Factor judge on board for a surprise appearance.

WaterAid is the charity partner of Northumbrian Water, supporting improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene, in 37 countries. People from Madagascar, one of those countries, have lent their support to the campaign, recording videos urging Mr Barlow to attend the event.

Andrew Blakemore, chairman of the Northumbrian WaterAid committee, said: “WaterAid is a fantastic charity, one that more than 20 million people have to thank for their safe water and improved hygiene that will help them to live longer, healthier lives.

"It is fantastic that Jai and Rachelle, as well as Young Sinfonia, have come on board to make the 35th anniversary party a special occasion. If Gary Barlow makes it, that will just put the icing on the cake.

A special 35th birthday cake has been designed and created for the occasion by Graeme Venus at Sticky Sponge Cakes Studio. The event has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from organisations including Gowland and Dawson, Esh Group and Mott MacDonald Bentley.

WaterAid works to ease the problems of, and support, the 650 million people who live without safe water, the 2.3 billion people - that′s a third of the world′s population - who don′t have access to adequate sanitation, and the 315,000 children under the age of five who die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
Around 200 people are set to attend the celebrations, in the Castle’s Chapel, to mark WaterAid’s achievements, which include:

• Delivering safe water to 23 million people
• Toilets for 21 million people
• Hygiene promotion delivered to 12 million people

Tickets are still available to the public for the event, priced at £35 each. For details, e-mail

For more media information, contact Paul White on 0191 301 5325.

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