Long-standing UNICEF Ambassadors Jemima Khan, Ewan McGregor and Robbie Williams were among guests at UNICEF UK’s star–studded Halloween Ball, raising vital funds for UNICEF’s work helping the children of Syria. The event raised an amazing £1million, made possible by the UK Government matching all donations on the night pound for pound. 

High-profile personalities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and business, turned out at London’s iconic venue, One Mayfair, in fancy dress to support UNICEF’s work to help children caught up in the Syria crisis. More than four million Syrian children, one million of whom are refugees, are in urgent need of aid. 

UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams gave an electrifying exclusive performance, with fellow Ambassador Ewan McGregor joining him on stage for a surprise rendition of the all time classic, Angels. 

Throughout the evening, guests were treated to an immersive theatre extravaganza from Look Left Look Right in the crypt of the former church; as well as magical tricks from Drummond Money-Coutts. Isaac Ferry kick-started the DJ sets, followed by Queens of Noize DJs Tabitha Denholm and Lisa Moorish who took over the party until 2.00am. The whole venue was scented by Jo Malone London. 

Tonight’s match funding is part of the UK Government’s wider support for UNICEF’s work helping the children of Syria in what is currently the largest humanitarian operation in history. Over the next three months the UK Government will match pound for pound all public donations made to UNICEF’s work for the children of Syria.

UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, is working on the ground to provide water, education, medicine and psychological support inside Syria and for refugee children in five neighbouring countries. But the numbers are only getting bigger and lack of funding means UNICEF cannot reach every child in need. 

UNICEF UK Ambassador, Jemima Khan said, “For over two years, the children of Syria have been witnessing and experiencing one horror after another. I have seen UNICEF’s work in emergencies all over the World. They work tirelessly to reach every child, but they cannot do it alone and the need has never been so urgent, particularly with winter approaching. We hope to raise vital funds tonight at The Halloween Ball this evening for the children of Syria and I am very grateful to the UK government who have pledged to match pound for pound everything we raise."

  UNICEF UK Ambassador, Ewan McGregor said: “As it stands today, there are more than one million child refugees and more than three million children needing urgent help inside Syria; the situation for them is critical. UNICEF is working day and night to provide clean water, vaccinations, education, and psychological support to those children. However, the essential supplies are running low; the Halloween Ball will play a very important role in raising the vital missing funds UNICEF needs to reach every child.” 

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said, “Syria’s people are experiencing unimaginable hardship with millions of children in particular facing a bleak and uncertain future. The UK has already committed its largest ever humanitarian response to the crisis and we are now teaming up with UNICEF to double the power of donations from the British public. Our partnership with UNICEF means that donations to UNICEF’s appeal for the children of Syria will be matched pound for pound by the UK Government.”

UNICEF UK Executive Director, David Bull said: “Many children caught up in the current Syria crisis have been killed, maimed, orphaned, displaced, witnessed violence and lost their family members and friends; the need is desperate. We are so grateful for the fantastic support that all of our guests at the first ever UNICEF UK Halloween Ball have shown this evening, and to the UK Government for matching pound for pound all donations made from tonight, and over the next three months, to UNICEF’s work for Syria’s children.” UNICEF is the first great charity that the UK Government plans to support with match funding to help the children of Syria this winter.

Text ‘SYRIA’ to 70007 to donate £5 to help UNICEF reach even more children in desperate need.


Notes for editors:
For more information and photos, please contact Georgina Thompson t: 020 7375 6120 e: georginat@unicef.org.uk or t: 020 7375 6030, e: media@unicef.org.uk 

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation for children, working in over 190 countries to help every child realise their full potential. We work with partners to transform the lives of children everywhere. UNICEF provides health care, water, nutrition, education and protection for children. The most vulnerable and disadvantaged children are our priority. As champion of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we work to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF UK raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk 

About UK Government Aid Match The UK has committed £500 million to the Syria crisis, its largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. The new Syria match funding initiative will run alongside the UK’s existing aid match programme. This matches public donations to charity appeals for organisations working around the world with funding from the international development budget. A total of £120 million will be available for UK Aid Match over the next three years.Last month Justine Greening announced that the UK will be providing desperately needed help including counselling and education to help prevent an entire lost generation of Syrian children. Establishing match funding partnerships with UNICEF and other British charities helping Syria’s children is a key part of this initiative.