m2m Kicks Off 15th Year with Star-Studded Celebration

Nalumu Vivien Juliet (mothers2mothers Mentor Mother) and Annie Lennox attend the mothers2mothers charity event. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/REX)

Nalumu Vivien Juliet and Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox, Victoria Beckham, and Hugh Bonneville were among the many stars who helped mothers2mothers (m2m) kick off the 15th year of its lifesaving peer mentoring programme at a celebratory fundraising event in London.

The 3 November event was hosted by singer, songwriter, and activist Annie Lennox who performed for the 250 guests gathered at One Marylebone. Ms. Lennox spoke of her longstanding involvement and commitment to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, highlighting the fact that worldwide AIDS is a leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. She went on to perform two sets during the evening, including songs from her Grammy-nominated Nostalgia album, as well as Sweet Dreams and her some of her other international hits.

Hosts, Hugh Bonneville and Kirsty Wark

Hosts, Hugh Bonneville and Kirsty Wark

Joining Ms. Lennox as co-hosts were actor Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey fame, and Scottish journalist and BBC Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. UNAIDS Ambassador Victoria Beckham, who generously donated items from her pre-Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-to-Wear collection to the auction, was among the evening’s speakers. She shared her passion for m2m, having visited the programme on more than one occasion and seeing for herself the inspirational work that Mentor Mothers do.

One of the evening’s many highlights was a speech from Mentor Mother Nalumu Vivien Juliet, who traveled to the U.K. from her home in rural Uganda. Juliet shared her powerful story of how she overcame tremendous challenges after testing HIV positive while pregnant, and is now helping other HIV-positive mothers in similar situations find the strength to access treatment critical to the health of themselves and their babies. She ended her moving speech with the declaration, “HIV ends with me,” launching everyone to their feet in a standing ovation.

Victoria Beckham and Dr. Mitch Besser

Victoria Beckham and Dr. Mitch Besser, m2m Founder

Guests bid generously on auction lots including shoes and headbands that Bionda Castana designed exclusively to benefit m2m, a signed keyboard from Gary Barlow, and a collection of Gibson guitars signed by artists including Liam Payne, Coldplay, Sting, and Ed Sheeran.

The glamorous event was supported by MAC Cosmetics, Universal Music, Gucci, and Next Model Management. Funds raised from the evening will help support m2m’s vital work in sub-Saharan Africa to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and create health and hope for mothers, their families, and communities.

Following Annie Lenox’s final performance and a few last words from Hugh Bonneville and Kristy Wark, Jack Guinness took to the stage to DJ the after-party where guests celebrated into the wee hours.

See More Photos of the Event

Read the Press