Tea with Victoria Summer – British Hollywood actress Victoria Summer will host her third British Tea Party for Teen Cancer America, for which she is a global ambassador, in association with Next Generation Role Model on Saturday 12th December – 8 pm UK time.
The live-streamed event will raise critical funds for TCA, the national non-profit co-founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who, providing facilities and support for adolescents and young adults with cancer.
Victoria Summer’s virtual Tea Party, which is fully vegan, will feature actress Lesley Nicol, who portrays the manor chef Mrs Patmore on the BBC’s Emmy Award-winning series Downton Abbey, and performances by global music artist Sheryl Crow and acclaimed British tenor and Tony Award winner Alfie Boe.
Women Talking has the opportunity to touch base with Victoria regarding this fun-packed virtual event:
How did you first get involved with Teen Cancer America?
“One of my best friends in LA who knows well my love for tea kindly introduced me to Lawrence Charles from Charles & Company Tea. We sat and had drinks in Korea Town in Los Angeles and discussed business ideas.
Lawrence was a go-getter – I noticed this. Self-made and hungry, like me! But I had to try his tea! Soon after our first meeting, he had a selection of teas sent to my home and I truly fell in love with his brand. Absolute elegance and sophistication but more importantly his tea tasted first class – I’ve tried literally every brand under the sun. The creamy Earl Grey is my favourite, it deserves an award. I had to work with him. I told him I wanted to create my own tea event and bring people together whilst helping others. I wanted to meet likeminded people who share a passion to make the world better. ‘Tea with Victoria Summer’ began from that moment. We decided we wanted all the proceeds to go to charity.
Lawrence knew Simon and Geraldine – the husband-and-wife team behind Teen Cancer America and they are British. He said wow – what a good combination and I remember we met the four of us at Coffee Bean in Santa Monica over a cuppa. Simon loved the idea and our first event launched alongside my movie ‘Game of Aces’ which was held at the British Consulate in Los Angeles. It was such a big success – especially for our first and we knew we had to keep going!”
How does the charity make a difference?
“Since 2012, 17,000 young people have been supported and 42 hospital partnerships have been formed across the USA.
TCA helps build state of the art zones in hospitals just for teens and young adults to improve their oncology care. TCA has services and programs that impact and enhance the hospital experience for young people – when I listen to their stories, this is one of the things that mean the most to them.
For example, TCA creates music programs, health and wellness workshops and community building events.”
What additional support do you feel youngsters with cancer require that the charity helps support?
“During Covid, teens with cancer are immune-compromised and are now more isolated, alone and facing depression. Teens experiencing cancer need to meet other teens who are facing the same diagnosis to provide support for each other.
Teen Cancer America brings young people together by creating special spaces and programs (now online) to help enhance the quality of their lives and foster greater connections to other teenagers. “
Are you an advocate for Afternoon Tea?
“I certainly am! Stopping life for a moment and taking time to sit down, put away our phones and have in-person conversations is so valuable. Too many of us text/email or endlessly scroll on social media – some of us don’t even talk on the phone these days.
Afternoon Tea is a cherished moment of the day to relax and enjoy the conversation and company of special friends and loved ones – I frequently enjoy afternoon tea with my Pomeranian Bentley!”
Do you follow a vegan diet? If so for how long and why?
“Yes, and it’s one of the things in life I’m most proud of. I started being vegan back in 2013 – the same year I remember shooting Transformers 4 in Chicago and walking around trying all the vegan restaurants in town! It’s a pleasure being vegan, I love all the new alternatives that keep popping up on the market. I have fun exploring and trying new things. I started out being vegan because I had several food allergies but the more I did it, the more I felt good and soon began to research the horrors of the factory farming industry and the extent to which animals suffer such degradation and torture. I can’t support that. I love animals too much. Animals should be loved and respected.
What are you hoping to achieve with Next Generation Role Model?
“Next Generation Role Model was started during the March 2020 Covid19 lockdown. I took a step back at that point and looked at the world differently.
One of my many successful actions in life was having role models. They showed me that my hopes for the future really could become a reality and that I could create my life. My success will mean nothing if I don’t reach down and help empower the next generation of dreamers. I believe in making the able more able and this idea has always been something close to my heart.
My show shines the spotlight on kids who are leaders and visionaries and who are setting a good example to others.
Victoria Summer’s virtual Tea Party event will also include a master class in making delicious vegan scones from scratch by Italian Michelin star chef Fabrizio Vaccaro. William Hanson, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and regarded as the UK’s most trusted authority on etiquette and civility, will also give a tea etiquette masterclass.
The preeminent tea purveyor and expert Lawrence Charles of Charles & Company (an organic luxury tea brand) will teach guests to make a tea-based cocktail. Charles is known for his collaborations with the James Beard Foundation, British Polo Day, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the British Royal Family.