Variety, the Children’s Charity, raised £30,000 at its third annual PROPS breakfast held at the Dorchester in London. Following 23 successful years of the PROPS Lunch, the Committee initiated a breakfast networking event to bolster the opportunities for the property industry to show their support for the charity – which they did in droves.

Attended by over 300 people, the breakfast hosted a debate between real estate industry giants Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive of Great Portland Estates plc and Steve Morgan, founder of Redrow. The topic “Commercial V Residential” and was moderated by Emma Crosby, Channel 5’s news presenter.

Guests joined in the debate with a Q&A and a live twitter feed ( during the event, with tweets from a diverse range of heavyweight guests including Mike Hussey of Almacantar, Cleo Rocos of AquaRiva Tequila and Emily Wright from Estates Gazette – ‏@Emily39 “Both Steve Morgan and Toby Courtauld among those in the room who took out 95% mortgages on 1st home #propsbrek @estatesgazette”

Lockton “Delighted to be supporting @ThePROPSBrek – really interesting debate – 90% would favour resi development over commercial at present”

Committee members such as Emma Sinclair of Target Parking, Ben Richardson of Stepladder, Nick Katz of Locatable, Martin Bikhit of Kay & Co and Elliott Sparsis and Sebastian Abigail of Sociable Surveyors kept the social media debate up during breakfast.

“London is a different country. It’s never been a better time to love or work in this city.” – Toby Courtauld

Steve Morgan of Redrow says “95% mortgages date back through the decades” as he endorses

The audience participated in a live vote on whether they would invest in commercial or residential property, with the majority of the audience leaning more towards the residential market at the outset. Interestingly, Mr Courtauld swayed the crowd and in a re-vote at the end of the breakfast, more support for investing in commercial was shown.

Proceeds from this event go to the charity’s Grants Programme, which has supported over 1,300 families with essentials that often transform lives of children in need, their siblings and parents. It supplies everything from hoists, lifts and specially adapted car seats to specialist beds and sensory toys and has also made significant donations to many hospitals throughout the country for life saving equipment.

With a focus on helping children who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged to make the most of their childhood, Variety, the Children’s Charity, provides practical support through its mobility (Sunshine Coaches and electric wheelchairs), caring and health (equipping children’s hospitals), youth and education programmes (Variety at Work and outings to exciting places). In 2012 alone, the charity ensured that almost 60,000 children throughout the UK were taken on fun days out.

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