White Hat Ball

White Hat Through the Years

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Ray and Esther #1Today we got the chance to speak to Ray Stanton, a founder member of the White Hat Committee, to speak about how White Hat has changed since being established in 2004, going from the very first ball to the unmissable industry event it has become today.

How and why you are involved in White Hat?

I currently sit on the steering committee and am one of the four original founders of the ball, along with Marcus Alldrick, Ron Condon and Malcolm Marshall.

I am involved because I believe in helping where help is needed. Childline and NSPCC is a cause where every donation makes a difference, be it cash, time or gift donations, it all changes lives. I think that’s the biggest learning for me during these past 16 years since we came up with the idea, every single thing counts towards making a difference to young lives.

What was the vision and where did the idea of White Hat come from?

The idea came about in 2004 after a couple of us had held industry dinners where we would raise funds for charity by auctioning off kindly donated gifts. The four of us I mentioned before, got together over a boozy lunch and came up with the idea ‘why not do this formally and as a group and see if we can make bit more of a difference’.

The vision was clear and has always remained consistent and while we’ve changed the words and messaging a little over the years, the core principles always remain the same ‘have fun, include everyone, make a difference’.

So, we reached out to friends within the security and risk community in 2005 and said ‘hey we have an idea’ would you like to join us and help us do this? From there we formed the first committee and it wasn’t until two or three years later we even had a formal chairperson. We took decisions such as when to hold the ball, and why it’s in January for example? Because it doesn’t clash with any other big events and as someone said at the time ‘it’s bleak in January and there’s nothing to look forward to, so this would be perfect, and it is!’. So, January 2006 was it! The inaugural ball. ball room 2009

Childline was separate back then from NSPCC and as a committee we pulled together a list of charities to vote on, finally deciding on Childline. Childline represented an area we all felt strongly about and today we still vote every three years and the feeling remains the same.

We do other small events and fundraising (e.g. London Marathon, Golf Days etc) during the year and donate to Barnardo’s and other smaller charities close to people’s lives. Though with time constraints given the ball has grown so large, taking up a lot of personal time and effort, these have reduced recently.

Throughout the years there has remained a core group on the committee, sustaining and growing the ball, and I for one cannot thank them enough for their commitment shown over the years. However, each year we are also delighted to welcome new faces onto the committee who bring with them new ideas and fresh thoughts, ensuring the future and success of the ball.

Tell us about the first ball and how it has transformed over the years – are there any stand-out moments that you remember from any of the balls in particular?

Goodness me, the first ball was a nightmare, we didn’t have any formal support, it was a bunch of do gooders all pulling together to create what we hoped would be a fantastic event. It was held at the Waldorf Hilton and we had circa 300+ guests (which we were so excited about back then and a target of £25k net profit for donating).

We printed our own material, people transported the gifts, champagne and materials in their cars, carried them on the tube or brought them by bus. So many of these things that others who run events will associate with it, that feeling of OMG ‘will it be alright on the night…and no it wasn’t!’ but we learned huge amounts from that first event and that’s ok.

One key memory was as we started the ball and introductions, stress was high for us all and Malcolm Marshall (one of the co-founders) and I were the joint hosts. We brought up and introduced Dame Esther Rantzen (who has been with us from this first event and every event since), handed her the microphone, and the system stopped working. Imagine this happening, a room filled with 300+ people, a wide room and no natural acoustics. The true professional, she carried on, we carried on and the night was a success and we raised £26k. Ray and Stephen

Notably it, and subsequent balls have pulled us together, created friendships that still remain strong today, and most importantly has enabled Childline to continuing answering calls from children who need them most.

Another key memory for me was holding meetings at Childline offices and once being given a tour of the call and message handling areas. Although you cannot listen into the calls, meeting these people, whom over 90% are volunteers and talking to them after, makes you realise why we do this. It was this that gave rise to us creating the ‘Volunteer Recognition Award’. I am not sure attendees or people realise this, but nominees are voted for by their colleagues, they are the ones who put forward these people in who in their view have gone the extra mile or deserve recognition. Bearing in mind, the people who nominate in my view, have already gone that extra mile with their volunteering. Their humility is sublime.

What are your hopes looking forward to 2021 and other future balls?

Quite simple really, to get through the Covid-19 crisis and ‘continue to make a difference, have fun and include everyone’. But practically, we need to continue to, at a minimum, maintain but aspirationally grow – which will be a challenge these next two years for sure. We have sister balls held annually in Washington and work with our co-conspirators the White Hat Rally to do more. We need new fresh faces on the committee, and we need to continue to make a difference ‘Protecting Children and changing their lives for the better’.

 

Join Ray at the 2021 White Hat Ball at the Royal Lancaster on 29th January. Email Lilly.OBrien@NSPCC.org.uk for more details.

Welcome to your new White Hat Chair

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Meet Stephen Khan, Head of Technology and Cyber Security Risk at HSBC, and our new Chair of the White Hat Ball.

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We spoke to Stephen to find out why the White Hat Ball is an annual sell-out event for the Information and Cyber Security Industry.

The event, attended by over 650 guests including significant senior security figures, has become regarded as an exciting, social and unmissable evening in the industry’s calendar. Organised by a group of volunteers from the Cyber Security industry and now in its sixteenth year, the event has raised over two million pounds for the NSPCC’s vital service, Childline. That’s enough money to run Childline for nearly 1,600 hours.

Hi Stephen, how did you first get involved with the White Hat Ball and what does the event mean to you?

My journey with White Hat began back in 2009, with the White Hat Rally. I recall driving a car, from London to Italy, and of course back. The theme that year, our first rally, was ‘Italian job’ the film. All the participants were in fancy dress, and our cars were suitably decorated, it was great fun and we raised a significant amount for charity.

The White Hat Ball is amazing night for our industry and provides an opportunity for our industry to give back to the community to help and protect vulnerable young people at their time of need, when all they want is someone to care, listen, and given them a voice. White Hat is very dear me as the event provides a unique opportunity to help in keeping young people safe. In fact, NSPCC delivers 800 counselling sessions a day across 12 Childline bases, therefore making a contribution and reflecting what that means to a young person is a very powerful motivator and makes me proud to be part of the committee.

You have had a long and successful career in cyber security- how does the White Hat Ball support the industry and how has it helped you to build your networks?

To appreciate, and understand the White Hat Ball, it’s worth noting how it was formed. Sixteen years ago, a group of industry leaders, sat in a room and came up with the idea to be the first and only Cyber Security Charity event for the industry. The first event was particularly challenging to arrange as nobody knew how many people would take part, however, the message resonated across the industry with around 300 people in attendance. Now, the White Hat Ball has become the premier event to attend for networking, meeting industry friends, and merging people’s personal lives with their professional lives. In fact, my wife very much looks forward to event each year and has made new friends in the industry over the years attending the ball. Today, we sell out to the maximum capacity of the Royal Lancaster Hotel.

What inspired you to become Chair of the White Hat Ball, and what is your vision for the next two years?

Being a member of the White Hat committee is a real privilege. I get to work with a very experienced bunch of committee members who bring a wealth of talent to make the event and most importantly we have fun bring the ball together, with help of our industry.

The next couple of years will be challenging, the coronavirus crisis is making life tough for children. Many feel anxious without school, many are trapped in unsafe homes – and some are having suicidal thoughts and feelings. That’s why it’s vital the Childline service is still here for children, to give them somewhere to turn.

My vison is, increase awareness of the White Hat Ball and firmly establish the event as the premier event where our industry can come together and contribute to the protection of young people through NSPCC Childline, so I urge everyone to share our message through these times.

Tell us your favourite White Hat Ball memory!

The performance from Clive Room, our very own auctioneer, as he narrates the room into a joyful laughter through his unique style.

And finally, sum up the White Hat Ball in 5 words

Protecting children through industry relationships

 

White Hat Ballroom

Join Stephen at the White Hat Ball 2021 on 29th January at the Royal Lancaster Hotel for a champagne reception, sumptuous three-course dinner and live entertainment including a celebrity host. Attended by over 650 guests and now in its sixteenth year, to date the White Hat Ball has raised over £2 million pounds for the NSPCC’s vital service, Childline.

For many children, home isn’t a safe place to be, and during the pandemic Childline has seen a spike of calls from children in distress who have lost access to vital support networks such as school, friends and family members. Purchasing a White Hat Ball table will support Childline at its most challenging time to date.

Reserve your White Hat Ball 2021 table now by emailing Lilly.OBrien@NSPCC.org.uk

Thank you for your support.

 

White Hat Ball Raises £195k for NSPCC Childline

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An incredible £195,000 was raised for Childline at the annual White Hat Ball which took place at London’s Lancaster Hotel on Friday 31 January.

Peter A hosting

The Ball, which is now a major event in the information risk and security industry, has been running for 15 years and during that time raised more than £2million for the NSPCC’s Childline service.

As more young people are turning to Childline for help about issues they are encountering online the support given to the charity by the infosecurity industry is becoming increasingly important. Last year Childline delivered over 4,000 counselling sessions about bullying online and online safety.

The White Hat Ball was hosted by pop sensation Peter Andre and attended by 650 guests in the industry, as well as Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.

The evening, sponsored by KPMG, Qualys, Orign Comms and Barclay Simpson started with a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner and music by live band, The Phat Cats, who have previously performed with the likes of Rita Ora, Adele and Nicole Scherzinger.

Chairman of this year’s White Hat Ball committee, Mark Logsdon said: “Each year the White Hat Ball raises a fantastic amount of money for Childline, a cause we are incredibly passionate about. Thanks to all of those involved in making it happen, our sponsors and those who attended, donated and gave so generously.”

“I’m extremely proud to be part of an industry which has made such a difference to so many children and young people over the past 15 years.”

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Join Us for the 15th Annual White Hat Ball

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The White Hat Ball Committee are delighted to invite you to attend the fifteenth annual White Hat Ball on 31st January 2020 at the Lancaster London hotel near Hyde Park.

Book Your Table Now

This sparkling highlight of the Cyber Security and Information Risk industry calendar is the place to catch up and have a great night out with industry colleagues, while giving back to a really important cause.

We will kick the evening off with a champagne reception followed by a sumptuous three course dinner and you will have the opportunity to win amazing prizes in the White Hat raffle and to bid on incredible lots in both the grand and silent auctions. Live music and dancing will continue into the early hours, so come along and let your hair down!

For more information and to book your table, please contact Lilly O’Brien on 020 3841 1655 or lilly.o’brien@nspcc.org.uk

We welcome all forms of support to help us make the Ball a big success. Please do get in touch if you can help us with prizes or if you want to promote your brand at the event through advertising or sponsorship.

Visit the White Hat website for more information. Follow us on Twitter for event updates and request to join the LinkedIn group to be part of the community.

See you at the Ball!

Best wishes,
The White Hat Committee

Bid to win and support our London Marathon runners’ fundraising

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This year, White Hat are delighted to have two amazing runners – Liza and Matthew – taking on the incredible feat that is the London Marathon, all in aid of Childline NSPCC. With just over 1 week to go, their long training runs are winding down but their fundraising efforts remain in full force!

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Matthew works for KPMG, the long-standing Headline Partner of the White Hat Ball and National Charity Partner with the NSPCC. White Hat supporter, Saz, who also works for KPMG has teamed up with Matthew to help raise funds and together they have already raised a phenomenal £3,844.90. They need White Hat’s support with a final fundraising push! They are holding a silent auction with some fantastic prizes to suit all – including a speedboat experience down the Thames, a luxurious overnight hotel stay, a chocolate truffle making workshop, an escape room experience and many more. Whether you’re seeking thrills or a little relaxation we’ve got the prizes for you. To see all fabulous prizes on offer, please take a look at their auction book, pick your prizes and bid now for the chance to win.

Enter now by emailing the item number you’re bidding for and your bid to NSPCCKPMGCyberauction@gmail.com. All proceeds from winning bids are donated to the NSPCC with every £ donated helping to raise much needed funds. The winner with the highest bid will be announced on 26th April 2019.

Matthew and Saz would love to add to the brilliant funds raised for Childline and the NSPCC through White Hat. Here’s how funds raised could help:

  • £3 could pay for their Speak out Stay safe programme to reach 1 primary school child, giving them the knowledge to protect themselves from abuse
  • £4 could pay for 1 of their trained volunteer counsellors to answer a child’s call for help to Childline
  • £5 could cover the cost of answering a call to the NSPCC helpline
  • £25 could pay for a trained practitioner to deliver 1 hour of Pregnancy in Mind to help new parents with the ups and downs of having a baby
  • £570 could cover the cost for their Speak out Stay safe programme to visit 1 primary school and speak to every child aged 5-11
  • £1,600 could pay to recruit, train and support a new Childline volunteer.

Thank you for your kind support and please join us in wishing the very best of luck to Liza and Matthew on 28th April!

You can find Liza’s fundraising page here and Matthew’s and Saz’s fundraising page here.

 

White Hat Ball Raises Almost £200k for Childline

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An incredible £193,000 was raised for Childline at the annual White Hat Ball which took place at London’s Lancaster Hotel on Friday 25 January.

White Hat Ball

The Ball, which is now a major event in the information risk and security industry, has been running for 14 years and during that time raised more than £1.7million for the NSPCC’s Childline service.

As more young people are turning to Childline for help about issues they are encountering online the support given to the charity by the infosecurity industry is becoming increasingly important. Last year Childline delivered over 3,000 counselling sessions about bullying online and online safety.

The White Hat Ball was hosted by television presenter and writer Nick Knowles and attended by 650 guests in the industry, as well as Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.

The evening, sponsored by KPMG, started with a champagne reception followed by a three-course dinner and music by live band, The Phat Cats, who have previously performed with the likes of Rita Ora, Adele and Nicole Scherzinger.

Chairman of this year’s White Hat Ball committee, Mark Logsdon said: “Each year the White Hat Ball raises a fantastic amount of money for Childline, a cause we are incredibly passionate about. Thanks to all of those involved in making it happen, our sponsors and those who attended, donated and gave so generously.”

“I’m extremely proud to be part of an industry which has made such a difference to so many children and young people over the past 14 years.”

White Hat Ball

The Ball also included various fundraising activities including a silent auction, raffle, a live auction conducted by committee member Clive Room and a powerful pledge led by author Matt Carey.

Childline president, Dame Esther Rantzen DBE said: “At Childline we’ve become more aware of the dangers of the online world and it’s wonderful to have the support of an industry which is determined to help keep the internet safe.

“The money the information security and risk industry have raised will help us be there for more young people, some of whom are in desperate need of our help.”

A huge thank you to the event sponsors; KPMG, Barclay Simpson Recruitment, Qualys and (ISC) ² without whom this event would not be possible.

1 Week to Go Until #WHB19 – Things You Need to Know

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As we are now in the countdown to this year’s White Hat Ball, we thought it might be a good idea to run through some of the arrangements for people who are coming for the first time.

The champagne drinks reception will start from 6.30pm in the Westbourne Suite, where you will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with the other guests, buy raffle tickets for the draw later on in the evening and buy this year’s lapel pin. It’s also a chance to examine some of the lots on display for the silent and live auctions.

The dress code is black tie, so don your best dinner jacket, ball gown or snappy cocktail dress and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes!

The hotel does take cards but It’s always a good idea to have cash on you as well. Especially for things like raffle tickets. The hotel has undergone a major 5 star refurbishment, so the ball will be grander than ever.

We look forward to seeing you on the 25th January 2019

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Nick Knowles Announced as #WHB19 Host

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We’re delighted to announce that TV Star Nick Knowles has been confirmed to host January’s White Hat Ball, a glittering evening where the cyber and risk communities come together to raise money for NSPCC Childline.

Most recently seen on your screens during a successful stint on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Nick is probably best known as the presenter of BBC1’s most watched and longest running prime time factual series DIY SOS – The Big Build.

We’re really pleased to have Nick joining us to help raise much needed funds for NSPCC Childline to ensure no child ever goes unheard in their time of need.

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Fancy Owning the Wedding Dress Worn by Kym Marsh on Coronation Street?

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As we are now just over a week away from this year’s White Hat Ball we wanted to share with you a select few of our fantastic silent auction prizes which are now live to bid on – charitystars.com/collection/white-hat-ball

These are just a taster of what you can expect. There are lots more incredible auction prizes that will only be available to bid on at the Ball including the Ultimate Take That Package, an Interior Design Experience, Britain’s Got Talent Semi Final tickets, a 7 Night Stay in Tuscany and much more!

We still have a few tables available at the ball if you would like to join us, contact: Charlotte Bignell on 020 3772 9059 or charlotte.bignell@nspcc.org.uk

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Strike a Pose at #WHB19

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The 14th annual White Hat Ball is nearly upon us, held at the beautiful Royal Lancaster London. This year we will be entertaining guests once again with a GIF photo station from Showtime Photo Booth (a Showtime Events company). Grab some friends and use the props to make silly and funny animations, which you can then share across social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WHB19 to help create a unique memento of the night!

White Hat Ball Photobooth

The entertainment doesn’t end there as after dinner we will be cheering The Phat Cats back up on stage for a second year running. Performing a wide range of songs, this lively band will get everyone up on their feet and dancing into the small hours, ensuring this years White Hat Ball is the best one yet!

 

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