September 2 2014 Latest news:

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 15°C

Five-day forecast

Home Secretary Theresa May hears moving speech from Jewish care home resident

Susan Schlaen (right) and Theresa May. Picture: Blake Ezra Photography Ltd 2014. Susan Schlaen (right) and Theresa May. Picture: Blake Ezra Photography Ltd 2014.

Friday, May 16, 2014
6:00 PM

A care home resident helped raise £80,000 for charity with a moving speech to more than 200 people, including the Home Secretary Theresa May, about how the home has changed her life.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Susan Schlaen, 57, spoke about Sidney Corob House, run by Jewish Care, in Fortune Green Road, Fortune Green, at the charity’s 25th Women of Distinction fundraising lunch on Monday.

Ms May was guest of honour at the event and made a speech about the work being done to address the challenges faced by women in the workplace.

But it was Ms Schlaen who stole the show, reducing many in the audience to tears with an inspiring account of her battles with mental illness and the support provided by Sidney Corob House.

She said: “I’ve always wanted a home but never had one. I feel so much safer and more secure now. Sidney Corob is my home now. It has changed my life. It’s always busy at the home thanks to the money Women of Distinction raises.

“People come in to do lots of activities with us, like drama and music and then we go out for lunch, for pizza and for wonderful afternoon tea.”

Ms Schlaen, who revealed she is undergoing treatment for cancer, spoke about her 30-year struggle with depression and tumultuous periods spent in hospitals and care homes before finally finding peace at Sidney Corob House.

The annual lunch, held at the Institute of Directors, in Pall Mall, Westminster, raised a record-breaking £80,000 for the home, which supports Jewish adults with moderate to severe mental health issues.

Ms May handed out two awards at the event to women who have made a significant contribution to industry and society.

Camden Town resident Tessa Ross was presented with the 2014 Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution to film and the arts, having developed and financed movies such as Slumdog Millionaire, 12 Years A Slave and This is England.

A Lifetime Achievement award was given to Dame Stephanie Shirley, a businesswoman-cum-philanthropist who arrived in Britain via the Kindertransport in 1939.

Lunch committee chairman Philippa Mintz, who lives in St John’s Wood, said: “Susan’s outstanding speech helped the guests understand the challenges that she and her fellow residents of Sidney Corob House face on a daily basis.

“With few dry eyes in the house she led us to raise a staggering £80,000.”

Share this article

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead and Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead and Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead and Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

   Local advertisers

More news

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Ham&High on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Hampstead businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Ham&High, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE