On 25th November Starwood and Unicef came together to celebrate 20 years of their Check Out for Children partnership which has helped change the lives of over 4.5 million children around the world.
Since 1995 Starwood guests and employees have raised almost $35 million to help Unicef immunise children against killer diseases, provide clean water for communities, distribute life-saving mosquito nets, establish schools, provide counselling for vulnerable children and much more.
To mark the special occasion, Unicef Ambassadors and High Profile Supporters shared images of themselves and their work for children in areas supported by the partnership via a unique photography exhibition at Le Meridien Piccadilly in London.
Eleven well known faces featured in the exhibition, some pictured within the photos alongside children they met through their work, including a couple of selfies, and others where the stars stood behind the lens themselves and let the observer see the children through their own eyes.
The full line-up included Robbie Williams, Lewis Hamilton, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Roger Moore, Sir Chris Hoy, Michael Sheen, Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor, Eddie Izzard, Jessie Ware, Emma Bunton and Claudia Schiffer, all of whom have supported Unicef’s work for children around the world.
The event featured moving speeches from representatives of both Starwood and Unicef UK. Starwood’s President for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Michael Wale, spoke about his involvement in the launch of Check Out for Children in London 20 years ago. Robert Scott, Starwood’s former SVP and General Counsel for EAME and now Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees for Unicef UK, shared how he came up with the idea of Check Out for Children whilst on a business trip in Ethiopia, where he saw the contrast between the hotel that was being built and the poverty outside, knowing there must be a way to help. Finally Lily Caprani, Deputy Executive Director at Unicef UK, gave a powerful speech about how much the world has changed for the better for children in the last 20 years, but also how far we still have to go to ensure every child is safe from dangers that still exist today.
After the guests had enjoyed the exhibition and listened to the emotive speeches, the night of celebration drew to an end. Unicef would like to say a huge thank you to Starwood for working with us for the last 20 years to change so many children’s lives for the better.