Shooting Star Chase Vice President, Simon Cowell, and his partner Lauren Silverman, led a host of stars in treating sick children and their families to an exclusive afternoon tea at The Dorchester in London on Friday (26 May).

The couple welcomed twelve children with life-limiting conditions, along with families, to the hotel on Park Lane and were joined by patrons Dame Joan Collins and Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, and friends of the charity including Julian Clary and Arlene Phillips.

The families were treated to a performance by Britain’s Got Talent star, Connie Talbot, who sang an acoustic version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

The exclusive afternoon tea – which was provided by The Dorchester as part of their ongoing support for the charity – was held in the prestigious Gold Room. As well as enjoying afternoon tea, guests were treated to a pick ‘n’ mix sweet cart, goody bags and non-alcoholic Shooting Star Chaser cocktails.

Celebrities in attendance spent time chatting with families, posing for photographs and signing autographs to make it a day to remember.

Simon Cowell, who has supported Shooting Star Chase since 2003, held his first annual afternoon tea in 2012 and became Vice President of the charity in 2015. His partner, Lauren Silverman, also became patron in 2015.

Simon Cowell, said: “The Afternoon Tea is something I so thoroughly look forward to every year. It is such a special, warm day. It really is a tribute to all the children and their families, as well as Shooting Star Chase, that this is such an uplifting and unique event for all of us who are lucky enough to attend.”

Supported mum, Faye Nogombo, whose 7-year-old son, Caleb, was born extremely prematurely and has cerebral palsy, attended the afternoon tea and said: “It’s been such a fun day at The Dorchester and a totally new experience. We’ve felt like mini celebrities dressing up to come here and having our photos taken! Caleb loved meeting Simon and it’s been amazing to talk to all of the charity’s supporters and tell them our story, and how much Shooting Star Chase supports my family.”

Karen Sugarman, Director of Fundraising, said: “It has been a wonderful afternoon and we can’t thank Simon, Lauren and The Dorchester enough for hosting such a brilliant event, and for our other patrons and celebrity friends for making each Shooting Star Chase supported family feel really special. The children and families cared for by Shooting Star Chase are going through truly unimaginable circumstances, and it’s fantastic to be able to offer them an opportunity to take time out in such iconic and stunning surroundings, enjoy some treats, meet some famous faces – and ultimately make special memories together.”