The Sugarplum Wadi Run Trek – 100km for £100k to mark 100 years of insulin

We did it! 100km across the Wadi Rum….

Alice de Romarquel, Sacha Bancroft Cooke, Alex Sears, Alex Stuart, Mascha Sautter, Susannah Evans-Pollard, Kirsty Cornell, Martha-Noel Patton, Sophie Stevenson, Jos Grant, Claire Kay

In November, myself and eleven other women took on the Wadi Rum challenge to mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.  100km over 5 days, averaging 20km per day, over a challenging landscape of sand dunes, stony plains,  dry river beds,  and finishing each day camping under starlight in the Desert  – a life-changing experience for all of us.  Almost all those who walked along side me are affected by type 1 diabetes in some way – whether they live with the condition themselves, are a parent of a child who has been diagnosed, or are simply friends with a family affected by it.

As we have stood by each other’s side during this gruelling type 1 journey so far, we took on this new challenge in the hope that by walking together we would raise vital funds needed to help change the lives of all the brave little stars who are faced with the daily ordeal of needles, blood testing and carb counting needed purely to stay alive. 

We are currently at £72,500 of our target and would so love to get to the full £100k, so if you’d like ot donate. Please visit our JustGiving page

For a more detailed blog about the trek, please see my instagram @jubiebalfour

Our trek was organised amazingly by the team at Tribal Tracks –

Breathtaking landscape
Much welcomed shade…
A moment of reflection overlooking the most insane landscape, quite literally The Valley of The Moon
Inside the canyon
Nothing like a bit of retail therapy and cup of mint tea in the middle of the desert!
Jehad, our wonderful Bedouin guide
Wearing our matching Açai hiking shorts – quite the backdrop for a photoshoot
Dusk at camp
Getting unpacked before it got dark at 4.30pm and we then literally couldn’t see a thing
At the finish line !

The Sugarplum Sponsored Dog Walk – Sunday 22nd March 2020

We are super excited to announce that the second Sugarplum Sponsored Dog Walk will take place at Cornbury Park on Sunday 22nd March, 10.30am – 12.30pm. 


– 5km Sponsored dog walk for dogs and their owners (if you dint; have a dog you can still come without one!)

– Dog show with actor Jeremy Irvine as guest judge

– Brunch with hot and cold drinks will be served

– Posy of flowers given to each mother to celebrate Mother’s Day

– Goody bag for every dog

Register to walk here:


Guest judge Jeremy Irvine with his Yorkshire terrier Captain.


The Fourth Sugarplum Dinner Raises £1.5 Million

The Fourth Sugarplum Dinner was held on 14th November, World Diabetes Day, at London’s iconic Victoria & Albert Museum, and raised a staggering £1.5m for the international type 1 diabetes research charity JDRF. JDRF.

This year’s event played host to 350 supporters of Sugarplum Children – the charity set up by Jubie Wigan 2013 after her daughter Aliena was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just two years old.

Big names supporting the night with their attendance included :Mark Ronson, Florence Welch, Downton Abbey creator, Lord Julian Fellowes and wife Emma, and  Jonny Labey, who starred in X Factor Celebrity and who lives with type 1 diabetes.

Jubie paid tribute to all the children who have to take on the massive responsibility of life with type 1 diabetes, but who don’t let the daily challenges stop them. She told guests: “I believe that a time will come when type 1 diabetes is a distant memory for Aliena and the thousands of other children who manage this challenging condition on a daily basis. With even just a little belief, anything can happen.”

Nine year old Aliena captivated the room whilst giving her own speech about life with type one, for which she received a standing ovation .

Caius Pawson, founder of the Young Turks record label which he launched a couple of years after himself being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, spoke about his passion for the theme of the Sugarplum Dinner – ‘If you believe, anything is possible’ –saying: “This message completely resonates with me. I’ve always lived by the idea that if you can see it, you can make it.

“Being able to see other people with type 1 diabetes not just survive, but thrive, has really helped me to make a better reality of my life with diabetes.”

Guests were treated to a dinner cooked by not one, but two Michelin chefs, Jason Atherton and Tom Kerridge, as well as a mesmerising acoustic performance by Florence Welch, and after party DJ set by none other than Mark Ronson.

The night also saw a live auction conducted by Lord Harry Dalmeny, Chairman of Sotheby’s which included the following one-off prizes: Bespoke Huntsman dinner jacket with inner lining designed by artist Sir Michael Craig-Martin; The Venetian Dream – a trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express including a stay at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani and private tours with Lanza Bauccina and Save Venice; Chris Floyd photograph ‘Night must fall, Los Angeles’ and Downton Abbey Comes To Dorset – a stay with Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes, and Lady Fellowes.

The Sugarplum Dinner live auction has become synonymous with money-can’t-buy lots and this was no exception.  The final lot was a once-in-a-lifetime six-Michelin Star dining experience with chefs Jason Atherton and Tom Kerridge, a performance by singer/song-writer Jack Savoretti and actors James Norton and Jeremy Irvine as your butlers on the night (both of whom support JDRF and live with type 1 diabetes), and which sold for £100,000.

In September 2018, Jason and Irha Atherton’s daughter Keziah was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, after being rushed to hospital. Jason told JDRF: “The awareness and the fundraising that the Sugarplum Dinner brings means the world to us. Keziah is now able to lead the life of an average teenager – but with the addition of insulin injections every day. Irha and I are really passionate about educating people on the warning signs of type 1 diabetes as every minute really does count. ”

While James Norton, actor, JDRF supporter and Sugarplum Dinner committee member – who was unable to attend due to last-minute filming commitments – summed up the importance of World Diabetes Day, saying: “I love how so many people are celebrating the bravery of those living with type 1 diabetes and the crucial support they receive from their family or friends in order to make sure that type 1 diabetes doesn’t hold anyone back.”

The fifth Sugarplum Dinner will take place in November 2021.

All images copyright Fear Photography. 

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Florence Welch & Mark Ronson

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The Sugarplum Dinner 2017 raises £750,000 for JDRF

We are extremely proud and excited to announce that the final Sugarplum Dinner, held on 14th November 2017 (World Diabetes Day) raised a staggering £750,000 for JDRF, taking the total raised by Sugarplum Children to £1.6m, which really will change the lives of all those brave little stars who live with this condition.

The dinner was a star-studded affair at London’s iconic V&A Museum, attended by 400 guests, including the Prime Minister, actors James Norton & Jeremy Irvine, all of whom live with the condition, as well as Jamie Dornan, Rafe Spall, Jack Savoretti and a who’s who of London’s poet players.

James Norton welcomed everyone to the breathtaking Raphael Galleries, before founder of Sugarplum Children, Jubie Wigan, spoke about her family’s battles with the illness, finishing with an Ode to Type 1, after which there was not a dry eye in the room.  The silent auction took place whilst guests enjoyed a delicious dinner cooked by Last Supper, and then followed the live auction with Chairman of Sotheby’s, Lord Harry Dalmeny.  The sought after lots included dinner with James Norton, a private concert with singer Jack Savoretti, and a week staying in the most luxurious house on exclusive island of Mustique.

Guests then partied until the early hours to DJ of the moment, Hugo Heathcote.  Jubie had always said she wanted to ‘go out’ with a bang – and she most certainly did!JDRF V&A 003IMG_9742IMG_8358JDRF V&A 019JDRF V&A 014JDRF V&A 081

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (9222971ag) Theresa May, Jubie Wigan, Charlie Wigan, daughter Aliena and son Caius The Sugarplum Dinner 2017 at Victoria and Albert Museum,, London, UK - 14 Nov 2017


The Sugarplum Dinner 2015 Raises A Staggering £620k for JDRF

A host of celebrities including Lord Julian Fellowes, Matt Barber, Masterchef’s John Torode and TV presenter Lisa Faulkner helped raise £620,000 at the second Sugarplum Dinner raising funds for JDRF. Other well known guests who were in attendance included Downton Abbey creator Lord Julian Fellowes, actors Tom Ward and Matt Barber, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP and Arun Nayar.

They were entertained by performers from Gifford’s Circus and DJ Sam Young provided the music. There was also a live auction, which racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks

Ms May, who has diabetes herself, said: “I know from personal experience of the challenges that come with a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. But these challenges are all the greater when type 1 diabetes affects a young child.

“Parents need the right kind of advice and support to help them navigate through the difficulties and ensure that their child can thrive. That’s why the work of Sugarplum Children is so important – supporting children and families and fundraising for JDRF’s efforts to treat, prevent and ultimately cure type 1 diabetes.”

Lord Julian Fellowes said: “It is a pleasure to support Jubie Wigan and the wonderful work she is doing with Sugarplum Children. Seeing her young daughter Aliena cope so gallantly with this cruel disease makes my resolve even stronger to do whatever I can to help and of course so many people feel the same.”

Last year Lord Fellowes donated the naming of a character in Downton Abbey, who turned out to be Rose’s future husband Atticus Aldridge. This year he offered a signed leather bound copy of the very first script of Downton Abbey, which went for a staggering £34,000.

Other prizes available at the auction included the opportunity to ride the Goodwood racecourse in front of the crowds alongside Gold Cup winning amateur jockey, Sam Waley-Cohen and a day behind-the-scenes with photographer Mario Testino. A dinner party cooked by John Torode went for £40,000, and as there was such a fight between the two highest bidders, John very generously agreed to offer a second dinner, raising an impressive £80,000 in total.
Matt Barber said: “I was truly honoured to be asked to participate in this fabulous evening especially since my character in Downton Abbey, Atticus Aldridge was born at the last Sugarplum Dinner! Hearing Jubie speak about life for her young daughter Aliena, who suffers with type 1 diabetes, is humbling, and I’m delighted to be able to support the charity in finding a cure for this awful disease.”

Jubie said: “To see so many friends and family together supporting children like my own daughter Aliena with type 1 diabetes is just so overwhelming.

“Their support will enable JDRF to continue to try and find a cure for this relentless disease. My target tonight is half a million pounds. I also hope tonight will help to remind people about the seriousness of this disease. With Sugarplum Children I set out to be the voice for those who are too little to shout about it themselves, and this dinner has most certainly provided a platform from which to do this.”

JDRF funds research to cure, treat and prevent type 1. The organisation works with the government, academia and industry to accelerate research in the UK and within healthcare policy to ensure that the outcomes of research are delivered to people with type 1 in the UK.

Karen Addington, chief executive of JDRF in the UK and the nation’s charity leader of the year 2015, said: “The Sugarplum Dinner was an utter triumph. A phenomenal amount has been raised by the event to support JDRF’s work to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.

“Furthermore, the presence of A-list celebrities backing the cause means awareness of type 1 diabetes is reaching new heights.

“JDRF is deeply thankful for all who were involved with the evening – especially Sugarplum Children founder Jubie Wigan and her incredible family”.

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MR CHARLIE & LADY JUBIE WIGAN and their children CAIUS WIGAN and ALIENA WIGAN at the Sugarplum Dinner in aid Sugarplum Children a charity supporting children with type 1 diabetes and raising funds for JDRF, the world's leading type 1 diabetes research charity held at One Marylebone, London on 18th November 2015.SUGARPLUM DINNER042SUGARPLUM DINNER149

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Introducing The Sugarplum Candle

 The Sugarplum Candle – On-Sale from 1st October 

Sugarplum collage

We are hugely excited to announce the launch of The Sugarplum Candle, in collaboration with Wick & Tallow, whose candles were born out of a love for good design, great fragrances and a deep respect for heritage and character. The partnership was given the go ahead by my daughter, Aliena, herself when she saw that Wick & Tallow’s logo is a unicorn, her favourite animal in the entire world (fantasy or otherwise). Once we saw Wick & Tallow’s logo we just knew this was the company that was meant to make the Sugarplum Candle – if Aliena believes in unicorns then we should all believe there can be a cure for this unrelenting condition.

And we hope you will be as excited by the partnership as we all are! The scent, which includes sweet and gentle notes of white fig and vanilla, not only will evoke thoughts of deliciously sumptuous sugarplums, but it will bring the light of hope, something those of us affected by type 1 cannot live without.

The Sugarplum Candle will be available from 1st October at, as well as at the Nina Campbell shop on Walton Street, and Soho Home, the lifestyle shop at the recently opened Soho Farmhouse in Greta Tew.  The candle is £40 and for every one sold, £10 will go directly to JDRF.



We were ‘Type Onesies’ on World Diabetes Day

Apologies for my silence over the past few months, but with christmas, and birthdays, it has just been non-stop, but I will now try to do regular updates – 2015 is a big year for Sugarplum!!

We were so proud to have raised over £6000 for JDRF for World Diabetes Day, dressed as Unicorns!!  Thank you so much to all who donated, but in particular, to Aliena’s school – Great Tew Primary, and the village pub – The Falkland Arms in Great Tew – we were so touched and overwhelmed by your support.