TV antiques expert Charles Hanson is set to broadcast a live charity auction in lockdown from his garden shed to help Britain’s NHS heroes fight coronavirus.
The popular auctioneer, a familiar face on TV’s Bargain Hunt and Antiques Road Trip, decided he had to do something to help pressurised health service workers and Covid-19 patients battle the crippling pandemic.
Charles, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “Like everyone else, I’ve been shocked by the impact this terrible illness has had on us all. It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. Our lives have been turned upside, the world is in turmoil and most of us are trapped in our own four walls. But at the forefront of it all, fighting to save lives every minute of every day, are our health service workers.
“Those of us in lockdown, the non-essential workers, are the lucky ones. We are not seeing the devastation on the frontline, the battle to steer chronically ill coronavirus victims back to health, nor do we have to witness loss of life on a daily basis.
“I wanted to do something to help and decided to stick with what I’m best at – auctioneering. On Friday, April 3 at 11am I’ll be holding my most important sale ever, a live charity auction to raise money for the NHS from my garden shed in Derbyshire. My man cave is finally coming into its own.
“I’ve been working flat out to get friends and celebrities from the antiques world to donate lots and hope to raise as much money as possible for the NHS. They need protective clothing, they need thermometers, they need tea and biscuits to get them through the day. Even if you’re stuck at home, you can do something positive to help.
“We’ve already had an amazing response. Antiques experts
Charlie Ross and Kate Bliss have pledged support as have model Kelly Brook, actor
Neil Morrissey and singer/actor Chesney Hawkes. Members of the public have also
been in touch with generous donations. For example, we have Millennium song
lyrics signed by Robbie Williams, a House of Commons autograph book signed by David
Cameron, Ed Balls and Fiona Bruce among many others, stunning jewellery and an
Charles kicked donations off with his own lot – his own auction gavel, used to seal the deal on countless star lots for seven years.
He said: “I’m calling it The Golden Gavel NHS Charity Auction. All money raised will be donated to Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity which covers five hospitals operating in Derby, Burton, Tamworth and Lichfield. They have launched a Covid-19 appeal which anyone can donate to and I would urge people across the country to see what they can do to raise money for NHS charities on their patch.
“I think it’s the very least we can do in these troubling times and a great way to take our mind off our worries about our jobs, businesses and the future.”
Hansons salerooms in Derbyshire, Bishton Hall in Staffordshire and London went into lockdown on Monday, March 23 – just a few hours before prime minister Boris Johnson ordered a national shutdown.
Charles said: “I launched my business in 2005 and built it up from scratch from my bedroom, so it felt surreal to have to shut our auction centres. But health had to come first. Now my garden shed is my new saleroom."
Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity welcomed Charles Hanson's efforts to aid their cause. A spokesperson said: “Our NHS needs support now more than ever. Our charity wants to be able to provide each and every ward, clinic, minor injuries unit and accident and emergency centre with whatever they need to get them through the immense strain that the coronavirus is putting them under.
“Whether that is thermometers, new pillows for patients, tea and biscuits for the staff when they manage to get a break or support for staff who cannot get home and are worried about their own families and children whilst treating others, only through your support, can we make this possible.
“We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the community towards our hard-working NHS staff and cannot thank Hansons enough for thinking of us and supporting our NHS.”
Charles said: “I can’t wait to spread a little cheer, lift spirits and raise much-needed funds to benefit our hospitals, staff and patients.”
How to bid and take part
The Golden Gavel NHS Charity Auction will take place on Friday, April 3 from 7pm. It will be broadcast live through Hansons’ online bidding platform – www.hansonslive.co.uk. There will be no bidding fees thanks to the generosity of service provider Bidpath, which has also donated two Derby County hospitality tickets to the charity auction. To register with Hansonslive to enable you to bid CLICK HERE - please note, you will be able to bid and browse lots when the catalogue goes live at www.hansonslive.co.uk on April 1 at 12 noon.
If you simply want to enjoy the TV show-style auction, it will also be broadcast on Charles Hanson’s Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/charles.hanson.9803 - and on his Twitter account @HansonsAuctions
To donate directly to Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity, please visit: https://dbhc.org.uk/covid-19-appeal/.