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Food industry charity launch raises £14,000 after 'tragic loss' of north Norfolk teenager

PUBLISHED: 13:21 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 07 June 2019

A tribute to Nyall Brown by Norfolk artist Ruddy Muddy at the Holkham Hall dinner in the Cromer teenager's memory. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

A tribute to Nyall Brown by Norfolk artist Ruddy Muddy at the Holkham Hall dinner in the Cromer teenager's memory. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

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A fundraising gala dinner held in memory of north Norfolk teenager Nyall Brown has raised an "astonishing" £14,000 towards the launch of a regional hospitality charity to support those struggling in the industry.

Pictured: Norfolk chef Charlie Hodson, right. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyPictured: Norfolk chef Charlie Hodson, right. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

The event was held in memory of the front-of-house manager from Cromer who took his own life last May, aged just 19.

And the evening, which saw Nyall's mum Tracey pay tribute to her son, marks the start of a push for better support for those working across the food industry in East Anglia, with the launch of the a regional board of the charity Hospitality Action.

Organisers described the dinner, held on Tuesday, June 4 in Norfolk venue Holkham Hall, as "extremely emotional" and commemorating a "tragic loss."

Mark Lewis, Hospitality Action UK chief executive, said: "It took the tragic loss of Nyall Brown to trigger our increased fundraising presence in the region and in the last year alone we have spent just over £25,000 supporting those in need across East Anglia.

The Hospitality Action East Anglia dinner was held in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Mearl BrownThe Hospitality Action East Anglia dinner was held in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Mearl Brown

"With our new fundraising board and ambassadors working together we will be able to help even more people in need.

"Our evening at Holkham Hall showcased the best the region has to offer in terms of produce, team spirit and generosity.

"My sincerest thanks to those involved including chefs, sponsors and the incredible teams from Brasted's and Wells Crab House who managed the front of house."

And Charlie Hodson, board member of Hospitality Action East Anglia, added: "Thanks to events like these we will be able to raise the profile of Hospitality Action in the East of England and support even more local people.

Chefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall, in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyChefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall, in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

"The evening was extremely emotional as we celebrated Nyall's life and heard from his mum Tracey. If we can stop just one other family going through all that Tracy and her husband Mearl have we will have done our job."

Mr Hodson, who also owns Charlie's Norfolk Food Heroes, added: "The aim of the charity is to support people within our industry through helping with mental health or specialist mobility equipment, or those who have had to bury their child.

"My role is to raise awareness of mental health and to hopefully reduce the number of stories like Nyall's."

For more information, or to support Hospitality Action East Anglia's work, visit the website.

The Hospitality Action East Anglia dinner was held in memory of Nyall Brown. Pictured, Nyall, centre at the first turf at the Cromer skatepark, which he campaigned to build. Photo: Karen BethellThe Hospitality Action East Anglia dinner was held in memory of Nyall Brown. Pictured, Nyall, centre at the first turf at the Cromer skatepark, which he campaigned to build. Photo: Karen Bethell

Hospitality Action East Anglia launch: what was on the menu and how can you help?

The evening included a line-up of more than 20 Norfolk chefs and front-of-house staff who worked together in support of the hospitality trade charity.

Chefs included Eric Snaith, Titchwell Manor; Mark Poynton, MJP Restaurants; Scott Dougal, Wells Crab House; Chris Busby, Brasted's; Daniel Lawrence, Socius; Roger Hickman, Roger Hickman's Restaurant; Daniel Freear, Strattons Hotel; and Michael Chamberlain, The Victoria, Holkham.

And also involved were Steve Thorpe, Simon Hunter-Marsh, and Mark Fitch, while organisers gave a special thanks to Mark Bradley, from Norwich City College.

Chefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall, in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyChefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall, in memory of Nyall Brown. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

The menu included crab, avocado and lobster terrine; cured salmon, Norfolk beets, horseradish and dill; and white chocolate crémeux, tarragon, strawberries and almond cream.

Donations could help with basic clothes and shoes, baby items, or even the cost of an unexpected funeral:

- £100 will buy basic clothing and waterproof shoes for someone in need;

- £250 will buy baby items for a new mum with no one else to turn to;

The dinner was held at north Norfolk's Holkham Hall. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyThe dinner was held at north Norfolk's Holkham Hall. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

- £1,000 will help towards the cost of an unexpected funeral.

Chefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyChefs and members of the hospitality industry in Norfolk gathered at a charity dinner for Hospitality Action East Anglia at Holkham Hall. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

Food at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyFood at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

Food at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyFood at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

Food at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyFood at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

Food at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyFood at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

Food at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro PhotographyFood at the Holkham Hall charity dinner for Hospitality Action. Photo: Paul Macro Photography

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